The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, on Tuesday, visited President Bola Tinubu over the student loan bill that he signed into law on Monday.
The NANS delegation was led by the body’s National President, Umar Barambu.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after engagements with the President, Barambu revealed that they urged him to review the constitution of the special committee that will oversee the new Nigerian Education Loan Fund to include student representatives.
The NANS President said: “We thank the President for the Students Loan Bill.
“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 organisations 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 has its 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.”
In response, the President promised to consider the requests of the NANS leaders but 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,” Tinubu said.
The President stresed that poverty should not prevent any Nigerian from obtaining quality education at the highest levels.
Therefore, he pledged that his administration would commit more resources to the education sector to ensure that every Nigerian child, regardless of their background, has access to quality education.
“Poverty should not prevent anybody, any child, including the daughter or son of a wood seller, ‘boli’ (plantain) seller or yam seller from attaining their highest standard of education, to eliminate poverty,” Tinubu said when he received the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students at the State House, Abuja.
“If we all believe that education is the greatest weapon against poverty, then we have to invest in it. If you eliminate poverty from one family, you can carry the rest of the weight,” the President said.
He thanked the students for supporting the removal of subsidy on petrol, explaining the reasons behind the decision and the need to curb smuggling.
“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 across the borders. We will put our money where our mouth is,” he said.