The Nigerian government is yet to provide the most brilliant of her Professors of Economics, Finance or Commerce to defend the idea of 350,000 naira and above increment in tuition fees and “Education Bank’ idea as proposed to ASUU to be the panacea to the underfunded education sector.
Economically, the question of student/parents affordability of the proposed amount is readily self-defeating and dead on arrival. Hence, the focus lens is on the ‘educational bank loan’ which seems to be the government’s last card to be exhausted to support their agenda. By virtue of instance, a student would be meant to obtain a loan of 500, 000 naira amounting to 2million naira or 2.5million naira to complete a four to five year program in a tertiary institution. By the virtue of the self-defeating economic affordability of this amount, an instance average of 60, 000 students out of about 70, 000 students of UNIBEN as example would be indebted of 120 billion naira ‘every four year’ to the bank when we have 2million naira multiplied by 60, 000 students. This calculation, when compared to the millions of students in the several universities, sarcastically depicts how rich the Educational Bank is, how fast it is destined to crumble and how indebted millions of Nigerian youths would be. If the government is this rich to establish educational bank, what is stopping it from diverting the funds to cater for the crisis rocking the education sector, as validly argued by ASUU?
The Nigerian government as it gangsters around, is after introducing the World Bank and IMF policies on education. These agencies are after the crush of developing countries in order to further enslave them. On one hand, the Nigerian government failed to take cognizance of her country’s low production and empowerment ability that is neither capable of gainful employment nor even payment of the 18,000 naira slave wage. This is happening as a result of diversion of public funds to the few pockets of the elite class as well as legislators ‘take-homes’ that are, by a great dept of immensity, sinking the economy. On the other hand, the introduction of educational loan to students without employment to refund it is on the same worse page with workers’ nonpayment of salaries and expecting them to patronise the economy.
Even the similar educational loans made available students in the agent countries of IMF and World Bank, the European, Asian nations, U.S and other foreign nations, the people are made to pay through their nose after graduation. Apart from the fact that some of these World power nations are feeding on other developing nations to develop themselves and providing certain infrastructures and programs to limit the anger of their own citizens, many of the education loans have still been met with protests by students in Germany, Thaiwan and America to demand free education at all levels.
If education loan approach have failed in the past by obvious and objective economic realities confronting African nations, the Nigerian government is thus, still dreaming and digging its own grave.
The urgent intervention to rescue the education sector by at least 26 percent budgetary allocation still remains unarguable!
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State Nigeria.