The Niger State government has said it is no longer possible to give free education to its students in tertiary institutions within and outside the country.
The government said its decision was based on the economic situation of the state coupled with dwindling finances and other contending demands.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello disclosed this while reacting to the demand for free education and scholarship awards by students at the second combined convocation ceremony of the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai.
Bello, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Ketso said: “In view of the huge funds needed to run education, especially at the tertiary level, parents must also take some responsibilities, hence the payment of school fees by our students.”
The governor did not respond to the request for the payment of scholarship by the students, but said the government would set up a special fund for education in the state through which various shortcomings in the sector would be addressed.
Bello advised the students “to shun cultism, indiscipline and other activities bedevilling the nation’s education, especially acts of indiscipline,” adding that whoever is found wanting would be dealt with according to the law.
“Don’t say because you are the son of the governor or the deputy governor, you will misbehave, we will not spare anybody that is found wanting”
He also admonished them to complement the efforts of the government and the school authorities by safeguarding the infrastructure provided, promising that government would continue to look into the welfare of students and staff of the institution.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nasir Maiturari had earlier said the institution elevated 37 out of the 104 academic staff to professors in the last three years, while 558 staff made up of 197 senior and 361 junior staff were also promoted to various ranks adding that promotion of all categories of staff “has been very regular.”