President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday in Abuja 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.
Speaking in his office at State House when he received the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the President declared that poverty should not be a barrier to education, emphasizing the transformative power of education in combating poverty.
”If we all believe that education is the greatest weapon against poverty then we have to invest in it.
”Poverty should not prevent anybody, any child, including the daughter or son of a wood seller, ‘Bole’ (plantain) seller or yam seller from attaining their highest standard of education, to eliminate poverty.
”If you eliminate poverty from one family, you can carry the rest of the weight. ”
President Tinubu, who promised to consider the requests of the NANS leaders, 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,” he admonished.
The President expressed his appreciation for the students’ support of 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 (PMS) across the borders. We will put our money where our mouth is,” he said.
Earlier, leader of the delegation, Umar Barambu, said the NANS leaders had come to thank the President over the signing into law of the Student Loan Bill, which will provide loans to indigent students such that no Nigerian student in tertiary institution will drop out of school over inability to pay school fees.
The Bill, sponsored by former House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, was signed into law by President Tinubu on Monday, June 12, which is Democracy Day.
“We are here to congratulate you and to thank you for what you have been doing to the country since you assumed responsibility as the President. We want to equally thank you for the Students Loan Bill,” Barambu said.
Declaring the students’ support on the removal of fuel subsidy, the NANS president said:
”It takes a great person to take that bold step of removing the subsidy on petrol. Some people contacted us to protest against that decision, but we said no!
”The well is dry and ‘Baba’ cannot give what we don’t have now. We have to accept reality and face that challenge squarely so that together we can rescue the country. Today we are saying ‘yes’ to fuel subsidy removal and we will stand with that decision.”