The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has queried the federal government’s economic recovery plan which it says “does not have provisions for addressing the critical challenges of Nigerian universities and its students.”
On Monday, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on an indefinite strike over the government’s failure to implement the 2009 agreement it reached with the union.
The agreement borders on the government paying lecturers their accumulated allowances as well as providing necessary funding for universities.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Chinonso Obasi, president of NANS, said the strike translated into a “distortion of learning, unnecessary delays and waste of time in the completion of a course of study”.
He said the strike has also put pressure on parents and described it as a general loss to the economy.
“The leadership of the NANS is questioning the imperative of the over N1 billion expended to develop the recently launched national economic recovery and growth plan that does not have provisions for addressing the critical challenges of Nigerian universities and its students,” he said.
“NANS is of the considered opinion that human capital development is an integral component of the nations economic development and growth and so excluding appropriate considerations for the sustainable development of the nations institutions in a strategic road map for building a prosperous future for the country essentially to enhance the prospects of learning and development of young people and to harness the resources for national development as critical assets in a strategic national development plan is only not an absurdity but an aberration that is grossly not acceptable.
“The economic recovery and growth plan is purported to contain a holistic solution to the numerous challenges bedevilling the nation and designed to engender not only the recovery of the nations ailing economy but one that would move the country forward towards building a sustainable and prosperous future for the country with the youth at the centre.”
The NANS president said it was important for students know about the contents of the plan and how it directly impacts on their lives.
He expressed displeasure that critical issues that would permanently address and bring to an end the lingering disagreements between ASUU and the federal government were not included in the plan.
“As critical stakeholders in the Nigerian project, the leadership of NANS is mobilising the Nigerian students nationwide to demand explanations from the federal government as to why a whopping sum of over N1 billion would be expended on document that is devoid of critical inclusion and provisions to address the challenges of the Nigerian students and youth as well as practical strategies to put an end to the germane and perennial issues that translates to the incessant distortion of smooth learning the nations ivory towers,” he said.