A University of Lagos-based student group, Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike, has said that the Federal Government has resources to fund public education.
The students, while addressing a press conference in Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday, said the FG could fund education if lawmakers at the Senate could discuss plans to purchase Sports Utility Vehicles for its members.
“The demands of the #FeesMustFall movement remain sacrosanct. We have maintained that Nigeria has the resources for the government to fund quality and affordable education. The major constraint is the leaning of the government to neoliberal policies that do not prioritise investments in social services such as education and health of the people but finds it ‘economically wise’ to procure ‘N160 million’ SUVs for members of the parliament,” a statement issued by one of the leaders of the group, Adeyeye Olorunfemi, said.
The PUNCH reports that the Senate on Tuesday justified the purchase of 360 SUVs for its members.
The Red Chamber was, however, silent on the actual cost of each vehicle but explained that members preferred the imported SUVs to locally manufactured ones.
Last week, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project asked a Federal High Court in Lagos to stop the lawmakers from taking delivery of the SUVs pending the hearing and determination of the applications for injunction filed by the organisation.
Speaking further, the students said the struggle against fee hike was far from ending particularly at UNILAG where the management recently slashed students’ fees after it earlier increased some from N19,000 to N190,250. The management in July cited “prevailing economic realities” for the hike.
“It is also important to state that all the victories and concessions we have recorded so far, and most especially the reduction and promise to restore the University of Lagos Students’ Union were not out of any benevolence of the management. They were products of intense struggle by the students, through the support of the media and concerned Nigerians,” the students added.