The students’ wing of the Northern Coalition Group (CNG) has protested the alleged plan by the federal government to privatise public tertiary institutions through the introduction of tuition fees.
The group said adopting such policy would cripple what remained of education in the North which was already educationally disadvantaged.
CNG gave the warning in a communique at the end of its two-day retreat yesterday in Kano, signed by its North West Coordinator, Comrade Bello Muhammad Aliyu.
The communique reads in part: “We note also that in addition to the devastating insecurity and attendant negativities on the education system, Nigerian leaders are experimenting with ill-advised ideas, programmes and approaches to privatize tertiary education and completely cripple the system.
“This is coming after the government has deliberately made quality education unavailable, inaccessible and unaffordable to ordinary Northerners with a proliferation of government-licensed schools privately owned by cronies, friends and family members and starving the public educational infrastructure of funds to thrive.
“As a result, institutions in the country struggle to meet their educational goals while dealing with scant budgets.
It also observed that privatization of education will generally be counterproductive as it will ultimately lead to even higher costs for the public to pay.
“There will be a decline in the overall service quality by reasons that involve the need for profitability. There are also corruption issues that will create a new problem with companies and individuals competing for the contracts to provide services, which means the doors become open to unscrupulous behavior with financial incentive on both sides to create a paid relationship,” the coalition added.
The group therefore said it has resolved to communicate in writing to all presidential candidates for the 2023 to take definite stands against the policy and also hold northern Governors responsible for any negative consequences of allowing the policy to succeed.
On the issue of the face-off between Federal Government and ASUU, the group blamed the government for not keeping to its promises.
“The retreat considers as very wicked, insensitive and inhuman for government to withhold the salaries of lecturers, and subjecting them to struggle to live from hand to mouth hardly earning anything to cater for their daily family needs,” the group added.
CNG also rejected the insistence of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enforce cashless policy by January next year, saying its implementation is aimed at “completely crushing the north’s individual and collective economic sustainability”.