The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has urged the federal and various state governments to waive school fees in tertiary institutions as palliative to students.
The president of the association, Mr. Chidi Ilogebe, who made the appeal in an interview with NAN in Enugu on Friday said since the federal and some state governments had assisted some sectors of the economy with palliatives, NANS would appreciate if students benefitted from such gesture.
“It is our earnest desire that students in Nigeria are made comfortable while studying.
“It is no news that the federal and some state governments have continuously doled out palliatives/grants to help resuscitate small and medium businesses for youths and women.
“It is on record that students were not considered in any of these arrangements.
“I, therefore, call on government at all levels to waive this 2019/2020 session’s school fees as COVID-19 educational support to Nigerian students,’’ he said.
Besides, he called on landlords around campuses to give rent rebate to all students.
“This will serve as a moral booster to the students and help strengthen students-community relationship,” added.
On the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU) strike, Ilogebe urged the federal government to urgently resolve the issues so that students could return to classes.
“NANS also calls on the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 to quicken the process of releasing the comprehensive protocols that will allow Nigerian tertiary institutions to reopen for lectures.
“We shall within the next few days before transiting to a new team that will carry on from where we stopped vigorously engage the government with a view to finding lasting solutions to these issues,’’ he said.
On students’ alleged involvement in #EndSARS protests, Ilogebe said the government and ASUU/NASU should settle their differences to make students go back to their classes.
“The government desires that the protests be depopulated; the best way is to reopen our campuses.
“This does not mean that we condemn the motive of the protest.
“The cases of police brutality generally got out of hand and were worthy of being protested against.
“However, we believe it will be better for Nigeria that the youths are in classrooms breaking new grounds than being on the streets protesting,’’ Ilogebe said.