The foreign exchange crisis plaguing the country which has resulted in Naira depreciating considerably low against the United States Dollar may prompt some Nigerian students abroad to resort to drug business for survival, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said.
Oshiomhole, who stated this on Wednesday when he led some members of his cabinet and principal officers of the new Edo University, Iyamoh, to the National Universities Commission (NUC), said many of the students are trapped as a result of the inabilty of their parents to send them money because of the forex issue.
His words: “Now people are trapped, if you cannot deliver school fees to them, some of them will resort to drugs and other things; giving Nigeria a bad name.”
The Governor said the new university, would provide access to large chunk of Nigerian students seeking admission as well as providing alternative to those who intend to school in other countries.
“If we look at how much we are exporting to foreign universities, if we have sensible policy here that charge relative fees for students who can afford it, and we are saying don’t go to Ghana but here in Edo you will get the quality school but you have to pay for it,” he said.
Oshiomhole, who berated politicians attitude towards formulating a national policy on education, said it was unjustifiable for government to continue to pretend about delivery free university education.
He siad, “The political elites have a lot of hypocricy when it comes to time of fashioning out public policy on education. We have resulted to a privatised solution to a matter that requires a national policy.
“Every senior Nigerian, public or private, now find it comfortable in sending the child to UK, US where you pay a minimum of 40,000 Dollars a year or even 60,000 Dollars depending on the university. Those who cannot afford it send send their children to Ghana and we allow our universities to remain where they are, we are not able to encourage them to charge appropraite fees, we pretend we can deliver quality free university education.”
While calling for the introduction of special mechanism that will support education for children from poor homes, the Governor decried the current situation where education subsidy is provided for everybody.
“In Nigeria, we are running a generalised system of subsidy where a child that drives a BMW to University of Abuja and the one from Gwagwalada public school, who cannot afford a bicycle Nigeria government provide subsidy for both.
“If a child whose father has a private jet find himself in University of Maiduguri and a child of level 2 worker, who earns N20,000 find himself in the same university, the Nigeria government delivers subsidy to both the rich and poor. For me, it is just crazy,” the governor added.
On his part, the NUC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie, who expressed hapinness over the governor’s visit, said the Edo University would go a long way in tackling the admission problem in the country.
While calling on the Governor to ensure that qualified and competent lecturers are employed in the institution, Okojie harped on the need for better primary and secondary education to enhance the quality of university education in the country.
He said with the approval of Edo University, which came into force on 23rd March, 2016, Nigeria now has 41 state universities.