A member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, representing Jaba state constituency, Hon. Samson Dikko (PDP), has called on state governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, to suspend his planned tuition fee hike for university students.
Dikko called on the state government to immediately suspend the plan in all the tertiary institutions of the state.
Recall that the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) students wing had earlier berated the state lawmakers over their silence on the tuition fees hike, promising to make them politically irrelevant.
The lawmaker, who spoke in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Kwoi, the headquarters of Jaba local government area, said there was no gainsaying the fact that education is the bedrock of development in any society, hence people should be encouraged to acquire it.
“Education is an essential gift from the government to a child. Let me link this thought with one inscription boldly written and pasted at the former Leventis Roundabout by the Kaduna
State government that ‘It is a must for children of the poor to have access to quality education’,” he said.
The lawmaker said going by that inscription written by the el-Rufai administration, it is duty-bound to allow children access to free and qualitative education from primary to tertiary level.
“While Kaduna state government is
hiking the tuition fees of her students, the Sule Lamido University in Jigawa state is offering a free education to her female students to enable them get qualitative education. What a contradiction?
“It is a known fact that Jigawa State cannot compare its revenue generation with that of Kaduna State. It is the primary responsibility of government to alleviate sufferings of the teeming masses and not creating problems and hardship for them,” Dikko added.
He noted that the most painful aspect of the issue is the fact that parents of most of the concerned students have been sacked from work in the ongoing rightsizing of workforce in the state.
“It was a pointer that students within this category are likely to drop out
from their educational pursuit. My question here is leaving these students and their parents unprotected from this unfortunate situation, don’t you think it will create more rooms for social ills and other forms of criminality in the state? We must know that a stitch in time saves nine.
“In the light of this fact, I wish to draw the attention of the Kaduna state government as a matter of urgent public importance to suspend the planned action,” Dikko insisted.
On insecurity, Dikko said: “I am deeply worried that our roads that link the Kaduna city to other major cities are not safe for commuters. Are we talking of Kaduna – Birnin-Gwari road where it is over 10 years now that
people hardly follow the road to Lagos in fear of armed bandits? Are we also talking of Zaria road or Kaduna-Kafanchan road?
“The worst is the Kaduna-Abuja road where people have resorted to using the rail service from Kaduna to Abuja. But the question here is who can afford the rail line transport if not just a few of us. Indeed we are not safe in our homes; our farmers are not
safe, our students no longer go to school because of fear of kidnappers.”