President Bola Tinubu Vows To Increase Budget For Education.


President Bola Tinubu has pledged his administration’s readiness to commit more resources to the education sector to ensure that every Nigerian child, regardless of their background, has access to quality education.

Speaking Tuesday in his office at the State House, Abuja when he played host to the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the President declared that poverty should not be a barrier to education, emphasizing the transformative power of education in combating poverty.

According to him: “If we all believe that education is the greatest weapon against poverty then we have to invest in it.

”Poverty should not prevent anybody, any child, including the daughter or son of a wood seller, ‘Bole’ (plantain) seller or yam seller from attaining their highest standard of education, to eliminate poverty.

”If you eliminate poverty from one family, you can carry the rest of the weight. ”

President Tinubu, who promised to consider the requests of the NANS leaders, urged the students’ body to ensure unity among its members across the country to achieve more.

”You have to promote unity and stability among each other. You have to employ democratic means in your programmes and elections. I have to say anyone who is unable to accept and celebrate a free and fair election, does not deserve the joy of victory,” he admonished.l the students.

The President expressed his appreciation for the students’ support of the removal of subsidy on petrol, explaining the reasons behind the decision and the need to curb smuggling.

His words: ”I’m glad you understand the reason for the subsidy removal. We were at a point where Nigeria tried to draw water from a dry well and that is no longer acceptable and we equally must not continue to service the smugglers because they used to take our tankers and Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) across the borders.  We will put our money where our mouth is”.

Earlier, President of NANS, Umar Barambu, said the NANS leaders had come to thank the President over the signing into law of the Student Loan Bill, which will provide loans to indigent students such that no Nigerian student in tertiary institution will drop out of school over inability to pay school fees.

The Bill, sponsored by former House of Representatives Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, was signed into law by President Tinubu on Monday, June 12, which is Democracy Day.

“We are here to congratulate you and to thank you for what you have been doing to the country since you assumed responsibility as the President.  We want to equally thank you for the Students Loan Bill,” Barambu said.

Declaring the students’ support for the removal of fuel subsidy, the NANS president said: ”It takes a great person to take that bold step of removing the subsidy on petrol.  Some people contacted us to protest against that decision, but we said no!

”The well is dry and ‘Baba’ cannot give what we don’t have now. We have to accept reality and face that challenge squarely so that together we can rescue the country. Today we are saying ‘yes’ to fuel subsidy removal and we will stand with that decision.”

Later in an interview  with newsmen after the meeting with President Tinubu, Barambu, said they want inclusion of past national leaders of the association and exclusion of lecturers and lawyers. 

According to him,  the new Act will alleviate the plight of Nigerian students and afford them the opportunity to study with fewer difficulties. 

Speaking on the clause of the Act they are not comfortable with, the NANS President said: “We have outlined the clauses that we are not too comfortable with. And part of them is the issue of that board that we mentioned to the President, which we said at least students representatives should be captured and there are some some organisation that they put there, which to us, they don’t need to be there. 

“We gave him an example, most especially the Nigerian Bar Association, ASUU. ASUU have their own microfinance bank running their own affairs without students on their board. So I don’t think it’s wise for us to allow them to be inside our own board because it is purely students. 

“We are the major stakeholders of that bank. So I don’t think allowing them to be there is good. Not only them, we mentioned a lot of people that they should remove and put more of student-oriented organisation.”

According to the Act, the committee consists of the Govemor of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Chairman; the Secretary of the Fund who shall be appointed by the Chairman; the Minister responsible for education; the Chairman, National Universities Commission; a representative of Vice-Chancellors forum of all Nigeria Universities; a representative of the Rectors forums of all Nigerian Polytechnics and Provosts forum of all Colleges of Education in Nigeria; the Minister responsible for finance or his representative and the Auditor-General for the Federation.

Others are a representative of the Nigerian Labour Congress; a representative of the Nigerian Bar Association; and a representative of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.