Will Nigerian students be compensated? By Stephen Oyedemi

“…Guide our leaders right, help our youths the truth to know.” This fascinating line in the second stanza of the national anthem- from which a number of us draw the sustenance to keep our belief in Nigeria alive- suggests that we youths need to know the truth.

            The fact that Nigerian students in public universities have been out of school in the last four months is no more new story.  The depressing part of it all is that we don’t seem to know the truth of why our precious time and life have to be wasted and toyed with even as our counterparts from all over the world keep moving ahead.

            In my view, neither the Federal government nor the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is sincere with the people of Nigeria and students concerning the status quo. Many things we do not know may be surrounding their agreement and we Nigerian students (the youths) demand to know these truths. I believe agreements should be honored, but at the same time I believe in reality and that mine and other student’s life and time shouldn’t be wasted.

            A typical analysis of a university’s programs – from pre-degree and diplomas to degree and postgraduate, both fulltime and part time – would give an insight into how much funds it is capable of raking in. one should however not forget the large number of students who rush to obtain post-UTME forms and several other application forms alongside businesses run by the university. Is the level of development available in any of the universities commensurate with the amount of investments so far?

            Nigerian students, on completion of their NYSC would have lost an average of 2 years in comparison to their counterparts from most part of Europe and America.  This is clear when the months awaiting posting is added up to months of strikes and the extra period of time required for completion of a degree in our ivory towers.  A lot of Nigerian students work with burning enthusiasm in some of the most difficult circumstances. What is being done so that the will-power and talents of the youth of today will not perish to the ditch of carelessness?

            The government on its side make a lot of money as we know and hasn’t being committed to education as it should and the question is; why do we have to be out of school for this long? It should be noted however, that the lecturers are no saints as they tend to appear. A number of them have been found wanting in cases ranging from bribery, illegal upgrading and downgrading of marks, to molestation of female students and general students victimization. Why haven’t federal agencies such as TETFUND and ETF been able to properly address the challenges we have?

            Time they say is money. For months Nigerian students have been thrown out of school, lecturers are being threatened, “no work, no pay”, of which payments are latter going to be made.  The Nigerian student is depressed because he is at the receiving end and the question is; will Nigerian Students be compensated for damages being done? All these questions need to be urgently and honestly answered if we still have any dignity attached to studentship in Nigeria.

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