The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has urged Federal and States Governments to waive school fees in tertiary institutions as a palliative to students across the country.
The student body explained that the call had become imperative to mitigate the economic hardship occasioned by outbreak of coronavirus and allow students settle down for academic activities without distraction when schools reopen for tertiary students.
The NANS President, Chidi Ilogebe, said that it was important for government at all levels to consider students as critical population affected by the pandemic by ensuring they benefit from coronavirus palliative in form of school fee waiver.
Briefing newsmen on national issues affecting Nigerian students in Enugu on Friday, Ilogebe lamented that students were not captured in earlier palliatives rolled out by the government, hence the need to consider fee waiver as palliative for students.
According to him, it is our earnest desire that students in Nigeria are made comfortable while studying like their counterparts in other nations across the globe.
“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.
Ilogebe also called on house owners around campuses to give rent and accommodation rebate to all students, saying such would also cushion the effect of the pandemic on students.
“This will serve as a morale booster to the students and help strengthen students-community relationship,’’ he added.
On the ASUU/NASU strike, the students’ leader urged the federal government to urgently resolve the issues so that students can go back to classes, adding that the gains of the resolution could not be overemphasized.
“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.