A student organisation in Nigeria has condemned plans by some governors of the Country, to stop paying the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) fees of students.
Paying for the students is a good legacy that must not be eroded.
A faith-based students’ organisation, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, MSSN, Lagos state Area Unit stated this position at a media briefing to herald the commencement of its 104th Islamic Vacation Course, IVC, scheduled to hold between 23rd December,2017 and 1st January, 2018 in Epe, Lagos.
The Amir (President) of the society in Lagos State, Dr Saheed Ashafa, said
most of the governors have their children studying abroad in first class educational institutions and should not deprive the less privileged of their right to education in Nigeria too.
“So, if paying for the WAEC and NECO fees of the poor masses is the only legacy they want to leave in the education sector, they should let it be for God’s sake!”he said.
Dr Ashafa called on the Nigerian government to ensure adequate funding of the education sector so as to reduce incessant industrial actions in the sector.
According to him, a way to do that is by having a close monitoring of how allocated funds are utilised at all levels.
MSSN believed that if enough fund is injected into the sector and closely monitored, it would improve the standard and quality of education, and by extension the quality of Nigerian graduates.
Speaking on the state of the nation, Dr Ashafa explained that though his group was not yet satisfied, the dream of Nigerians that appear shattered about three years ago is now metamorphosing into hope.
He therefore charged the Muhammadu Buhari government to utilise the numerous resources of the country to secure a decent life for the citizenry.
“The government needs to remain focused and avoid distractions. There is no government without development. We are tired of efforts and predictions, we want accomplishments. We want to start having the real feeling of development,’Ashafa said.
The students’ leader said that the current economic realities in Nigeria have made it inevitable for the government to hasten the process of reviewing upwards the salaries of workers.
According to him, the current minimum wage of N18,000 is no longer acceptable as the prices of virtually everything has skyrocketted, with the purchasing power of most Nigerians plumetting.
“The argument often advanced that increasing workers take home will put pressure on the economy and shoot up inflation does not hold any water! If our lawmakers and other political office holders can have their pays and allowances increased every time without ‘pressure’ on the economy, doing same for hardworking Nigerian workers will not harm the economy,” Ashafa said.
He also expressed sadness over the inability of some state governors to pay workers’ salaries despite the interventions by the federal government.
While commending government’s effort towards improving the security of lives and property of Nigerians, Dr Ashafa urged President Buhari to ensure the judicoius utilisation of the just-approved $1bn for the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and other security threats in the country.
He also commended the zeal with which the Nigerian government is prosecuting the war on corruption.
Dr Ashafa, however, advised the president to leave no stone unturned to make the war total and nonpartisan.
According to him, all those with one indictment or the other who have found their way into the ruling party, and were received with warm embrace, must be made to face the full wrath of the law.