The National Association of Nigerian Students is set for fresh engagement with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, over alleged reports that the Federal Government has no money to meet the demands of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The student body has, however, dissociated itself from a report calling for the sacking of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele by some “faceless students.”
The NANS Vice President (Special Duties), Odiahi Ikhine, who addressed a news conference on Monday in Abuja, said the students were unhappy with comments credited to the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, that government had no money to meet the demands of ASUU.
Keyamo had asked parents to beg ASUU to call off the strike because the Federal Government could not afford N1.2 trillion demand of the Union as proposed by the Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs Committee on renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.
NANS Vice President, Ikhine, said the leadership of the Association would meet with Adamu and Ngige, to know exactly what was happening after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), gave a directive that the strike be resolved within two weeks and government officials were coming out to say that there was no money to meet with the demands of the Union.
He vowed that the students would not relent in their efforts to ensure the right thing was done.
“On the issue of ASUU strike, we, as an organisation, have been doing our best, we have been able to pressure the government over time, and just recently, the Nigeria Labour Congress called for a protest and we joined them, and as it is, we are not relenting.
“Obviously, we cannot do otherwise because of the volatile nature of the country occasioned by insecurity. But we intend to meet the Minister of Labour and Minister of Education this week,” he said.
He also clarified that NANS was not involved in the alleged report calling for the sacking of the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele.
He said some faceless individuals who paraded themselves as the leadership of the NANS (Zone D) demanded the sacking of Emefiele over what they described as the bastardisation of the nation’s economy.
“Let it be expressly clear that these impostors are neither students nor leadership of NANS in the South-West but rather political jobbers readily available for the highest bidders for the campaign of calumny against politically exposed persons for the purpose of blackmailing or settling political scores.
“We, therefore, wish to dissociate ourselves and the name of our organisation from the unpatriotic call for the sack of the CBN governor.
“It is our belief that the CBN governor needed to be given moral support to develop a fallback monetary strategy that will serve as an economic palliative for our nation at this time of global economic gloom.
“We call on security agencies to do their best in bringing impostors who go about heating polity and engaging in actions capable of affecting national security and stability to book especially at this time of fragile national security experience,” he said.
Meanwhile, the student body has disclosed that the current leadership of the association is in the process of transiting power to the next administration, saying that it had arrived at a constitution that would ensure only genuine students vie for leadership positions.
“The transition process is on and as it is now, a NANS president cannot stay more than 13 months, 12 months officially, then three months of grace period. So as it is now, we are expecting that the convention is not going to exceed this August.
“This month end, from all indications this administration will hand over to an organisation that will be run based on available rules and regulations in the constitution.
“What we are going to ensure now is, if you are not a student in a subscribed institution in the country, you cannot hold any office in NANS,” he said.