Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 27 December 2017 | 1,219 times
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has vowed to mobilise its members from across the country to occupy the National Assembly on resumption in January over alleged plan to stop the Energizing Education Programme (EEP) in the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
NANS President, Comrade Kadiri Aruna, who addressed newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, said the special electricity project must not be truncated.
He noted that Energizing Education Programme was designed by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to ensure 24 hours supply of electricity to tertiary institutions in Nigeria and their environs.
He added that the aim was to employ alternative, renewable and cleaner energy, to be funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the Federal Government.
Aruna, said the project when implemented would solve the problem of the increment in school fees in tertiary institutions and provide 24 hours electricity supply to tertiary institutions and Teaching Hospitals.
He said: “In the last few years, since the commencement of the total commercialisation of tertiary education in Nigeria, NANS and all her structures, especially the Student Union Governments have been in constant engagement against the managements of different schools and different governments in order to save education and helpless indigent and socio-economically disadvantaged students.
“In this struggle, we have lost our Comrades to road accidents, murder by unscrupulous operatives of security agencies and other forms of deaths, including unresolved disappearances of student activists.
“Others have lost their studentship, degrees, liberty, dignity and have their future tainted.
“And this is because the school managements have resorted to incessant increment in school fees due to utility bills, mainly the purchase of diesel to supply electricity in tertiary institutions.
“These increments have always been resisted by the leadership of the student movement, most times with dire consequences.
“And due to the constant engagement of the leadership of the Nigerian Students with the Federal Government on averting some of these incidents, the Federal Government graciously introduced the Energizing Education Programme (EEP) in the 2018 Appropriation Bill.
“Curiously the information at the disposal of the leadership of NANS is that some powerful unpatriotic cabal are set to sabotage the programme under the spurious claim that their constituencies have no electricity and as such, tertiary institutions of learning should not have.
“Our question is: are these tertiary institutions situated in Cameroun, Niger, Chad or Benin Republic? The truth is that they are demanding the contract for the job or a truncation of the programme,” he said.
Aruna, said even though the programme would be done in phases, “it is one of the best ways of solving the power problem and making our tertiary institutions real Centres of Excellence.”
According him, Energizing Education Programme is also a component of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and is incorporated in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved Power Sector Reform Programme (PSRP).
He said it was inconceivable that any group of Nigerians, especially legislators could for any reason vow to truncate this programme simply because their businesses or selfish interest is not served.
“Consequently, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) shall be occupying the National Assembly on her resumption in January, and would remain there until the students and Nigerians, especially parents who bear the burden of school fees and other problems associated with service delivery to their children and wards receive the assurance of the National Assembly that this timely intervention called EEP is not truncated.
“We cannot stand aside and look; enough is enough! The sabotage of our national aspirations in excellence must stop,” he said.
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