As the federal government directs all schools in Nigeria to resume on January 18, the National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS), has called on the government to give COVID-19 support funds to universities and polytechnics in the country to combat the killer infection.
NANS’ National President , Com. Sunday Asefon, said such funds would help the schools, especially the tertiary institutions to procure precautionary facilities to stem the tide of COVID-19.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti, on Friday, Asefon expressed joy over the compromise reached by the federal government and stakeholders that schools should resume, describing this as a long-awaited respite for students.
The NANS’ President stated that this landmark decision would help in relieving the students, who had been home for nine months of the burden of being put in abeyance for long, now that there is hope in sight.
Asefon said: “Now that the federal government had reached a compromise that the schools should reopen, the second phase should be how to help the schools to get the requisite precautionary facilities to tame the spread of COVID-19 disease.
“As much as it has become expedient for schools to reopen, it would also be foolhardy to take the issue of safety with levity, because such could also create crisis in the system in future.
“Under this confounding situation, the federal government should as a matter of urgency give COVID 19 support fund to all tertiary institutions to purchase facilities that can guarantee safety of students and lecturers.
“NANS, as an umbrella body for all students won’t tolerate carnage on campuses on account of Covid 19 infection.
“Taking cognisance of the veracious information at our disposal; only the private universities and polytechnics have prepared solidly to receive students in strict compliance with COVID-19 safety measures. Such is still lacking in our public schools.
“That is where the federal government should intervene to ensure smooth take off of academic activities after a long-drawn battle with COVID-19”.
Asefon also warned the school Managements against opportunistic actions, by resorting to imposition of arbitrary charges under the facade of COVID-19, saying procurement of facilities should be the responsibility of the federal government.