The Leader of of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has promised that the House will follow up on the utilisation of fees charged by tertiary institutions in the country.
Mr. Gbajabiamila made this assurance when he received leaders of the National Association of Nigerians Students in his office in Abuja on Friday.
“Education should be a right not a privilege so we must ensure managers of our institutions are accountable, we are aware of fees students pay but don’t get to government purse,” the lawmaker said. ”Nigerians can be assured that our committee on tertiary education would live up to its responsibilities.”
He also challenged Nigerian students to recognize their critical role in nation building.
“Your non participation in public engagement as given room for hearsay about what lawmakers do. Because the real voters don’t even ask their elected representatives the right questions, they only rely on those politicians that would dole out money to them few months to election.
”This is one of reasons why politicians who have mastered the system actually believe since performance could be swapped for money, it’s better they make themselves available to their people only just few months to election, so Nigerians must actually redefine their needs.”
Earlier the leader of the delegation and SouthWest Coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Okikiola Ogunsola, extolled the contributions of Mr. Gbajabiamila to the development of Nigerian legislature and challenged the House of Representatives to keep a close tab on budgetary allocation given to the education sector in the 2016 appropriation bill.
“We are concerned by the quota for education in the 2016 budget, though the allocation is small but we believe that with proper implementation our education sector can be better off.
We want the leadership of the House to monitor the budget implementation so that Nigerian students would not be shortchanged in 2016.
“School feeding and employment for graduates were part of items included in the budget we also want to believe that the House would ensure that these interventions are not swept under the carpet. ”
The student leaders further requested the intervention of the legislature in bridging the dichotomy between holders of higher national diploma and degree certificates and threats confronting student union leaders in South West.
“The southwest student leaders are faced with victimization that often lead to expulsion simply because our members challenge authorities to do the right thing. Our union leaders in Obafemi Awolowo University have been suspended for three academic sessions and it is as a result of agitation for better welfare for OAU students.”
Photo: Gbajabiamila with the students.