The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has emphasized the importance of adequate funding for the education sector, urging the Federal Government to take action. This call comes in response to the recent enactment of the Students’ Loan Bill by President Bola Tinubu.
Mr. John Alao, the Coordinator of NANS Zone D, expressed these concerns during a press conference held at the Federal College of Forestry in Jericho, Ibadan, on Tuesday. Zone D comprises the states of Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Ogun, and Lagos.
Alao believes that the loan scheme has the potential to alleviate the hardships faced by Nigerian students. However, he stressed the need for the Tinubu-led administration to adequately fund the education sector to ensure the effectiveness of the program.
Additionally, Alao urged the Federal Government to implement the UNESCO recommendation of allocating 26 percent of the budget to education.
Furthermore, he called for an extension of the validity period of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) results. Alao suggested that UTME scores should remain valid for three or four academic sessions, aligning with global best practices. This would ease the burden on parents, the government, society, and JAMB (Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board) itself.
Alao also highlighted the importance of making education attractive and accessible to students with special needs, internally displaced individuals, those with disabilities, and the underprivileged in society. He emphasized the need for campus facilities to accommodate these groups, as it is our collective duty to care for them.
In addition, Alao appealed to governments at all levels and the management of tertiary institutions to reduce student fees, thereby increasing accessibility to education for the youth.
Lastly, the NANS coordinator called on security agencies to enhance their efforts in providing adequate security across all tertiary institutions in the country, creating a peaceful and conducive learning environment.