AASU backs Tinubu on students’ loan, frets over out-of-school children 

The All–Africa Students’ Union (AASU) has expressed worry over the astronomical rise in the out-of-school-children syndrome in Africa, which it said has “hit over 100 million with Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and South Sudan and others topping the global figures.”

Addressing a world press conference in Abuja, Sunday, the President of the union,  Osisiogu Osikenyi, said armed conflict is robbing at least 28 million of the children of education by exposing them to widespread sexual violence, targeted attacks and sundry challenges.

Advising more countries in Africa to endorse and respect the Safe Schools Declaration – currently supported by 108 countries – to take concrete measures to better protect students, teachers, schools, and universities from attack during conflict,Osikenyi described the high cost of education across Africa as  unbearable for students.

He however commended President Bola Tinubu for the signing of the Students Loan Bill into law, saying the effort will leverage the education system and provide the avenue for the children of the poor to have access to quality learning.

“We commend H.E. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as we are excited to identify with the haste he is in to Renew Our Hope for Nigeria to assume prominently her role as the Big Brother in Africa. We thank him immensely for the Student Loan Bill that has kicked off in Abuja; among numerous other exemplary education policies and investments,” he said.

Continuing, Osikenyi said: “AASU commends the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited led by Malam Mele Kyari for his strides, especially towards making the Nigeria oil company become the largest and most capitalised company in Africa via the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) that has provided the organisation with the opportunity to shed some of its toxic liabilities.”