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Tinubu vows to increase Education Budget

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Quality education will be made available to all Nigerians without disparity.

To guarantee that every child in Nigeria, irrespective of their family’s socioeconomic status, has access to a high-quality education, President Bola Tinubu has stated that his administration is prepared to commit additional resources to the education sector. While hosting the leaders of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) at his office at the State House in Abuja on Tuesday, the president asserted that poverty should not be an obstacle to education, highlighting the transforming power of education in eradicating poverty. He contended that “If we all believe that education is the greatest weapon against poverty, then we have to invest in it.”

The children of the wood vendor, the ‘Bole’ (plantain) vendor, or the yam vendor should all have the same opportunities to receive the best possible education in order to help end poverty. President Tinubu, after assuring the NANS leaders that their requests would be taken into account, asked the students’ organisation to foster nationwide harmony. He urged them to promote unity and consistency among themselves. Democracy must be used in their campaigns and elections. He must emphasise that nobody who can’t accept and appreciate a free and fair election deserves the joy of victory.

Subsidy removal will curb smuggling and other illegal acts.

Tinubu thanked the students for their support of his decision to eliminate the petrol subsidy, and he elaborated on the basis for the move and the necessity to reduce smuggling. He expressed his satisfaction that they had grasped the reasons behind the removal. For too long, Nigeria has been trying to fill an empty well, and the country can no longer afford to provide for the smugglers who previously transported its tankers and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) across its borders.

NANS President Umar Barambu similarly expressed gratitude to the president for signing the Student Loan Bill, which will offer funds to needy students to ensure that no Nigerian student in an institution of higher learning will drop out due to financial hardship. President Tinubu signed the bill into law on Monday, June 12, Democracy Day, after it was initiated by former House Speaker Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila. They have come to offer praise and express appreciation for his work for the nation since he took office. Barambu stated that students owe him (Pres. Tinubu) gratitude towards the Student Loan Bill.

Student seeks representation from the Act committee.

It requires a great person to take that daring move of removing the subsidy on petrol, the NANS president stated, declaring the students’ adherence to the removal of fuel subsidies, and they do not protest that decision. After meeting with President Tinubu, Barambu told reporters they want past national leaders of the association and no lecturers or lawyers on the committee. He claims that the new law will make life better for Nigerian students so that they can go to school with fewer obstacles. The president of NANS addressed the issue of the Act’s provisions with which they are uneasy, saying that they have outlined the provisions with which they are not too comfortable.

Among the issue the board stated to the president, where they said at least student representation should be included, while some organisations that they put there don’t need to be involved. They illustrated an example of ASUU, the Nigerian Bar Association. ASUU’s microfinance bank operates independently without students. They don’t think it’s appropriate to let them into the student board. They represent the bank’s most important shareholders. So, it’s not a good idea to let them stay. They recommended removing several people and replacing them with student-focused organisations.

Members of the committee involve representatives from several agencies.

In line with the Act, the committee comprises the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who will act as the Chairman; the Chairman shall appoint the Secretary of the Fund; the Minister responsible for finance or his representative and the Auditor-General for the Federation; the Minister responsible for education; a representative of Vice-Chancellors forum of all Nigeria Universities; the Chairman, National Universities Commission; a representative of the Rectors forums of all Nigerian Polytechnics and Provosts forum of all Colleges of Education in Nigeria. There are also representatives from the Nigerian Bar Association, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, and the Nigerian Labour Congress.

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