The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Students Engagement, Hon. Comrade Sunday Dayo Asefon, has advocated for a paradigm shift where automatic employment is given to first-class graduates in universities where they graduate and MDAs.
Asefon stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the unveiling of the Nigerian students’ flag and Renewed Hopen Agenda by his office.
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He disclosed that by March this year, his office will be unveiling other initiatives to renew the hope of Nigerian students so that they can go back to their campuses and enlighten students to key into the agenda of the government.
According to him, “A befitting celebration and rewarding prize for overall best graduates from every tertiary institution vis-a-viz arrangements of automatic absorption into academic by school authorities and other MDAs.”
Speaking on the allegations that some universities were charging certain fees for students to undergo drug test, Asefon said he will not allow such to happen.
While saying the drug test for students was a welcome development, he said mandating students to pay money was illegal.
“On the issue of drug test, that will not stand. I will not say they should not conduct a drug test but such test should be free. If the idea is from NDLEA or university, I commend them but I condemn the idea of asking them (students) to pay fee.”
On the issue of student loan, he said the government was putting finishing touches to kick start the scheme in January.
“I can assure you that the bottlenecks about the loan are things of the past and we will ensure the indigent Nigerian students get it once the portal is opened. There’s going to be transparency and the president is committed to make it happen,” he said.
The former NANS president who said
there was need to renew the hope of Nigerian students towards academic activities in Nigeria, noted that his office was working towards establishing a students’ complaint unit where the Nigerian students would have access to discuss their problems.
The Nigerian students renewed hope agenda, he said, includes, among others, to identify and discuss the students’ challenges on campus, sensitization on student loan scheme, social investment and empowerment programme of the federal government.
Others are Nigerian students leaders’ regional dialogue, annual international students day celebration, PBAT national student summit and unveiling of renewed hope campus ambassadors, annual all Nigerian tertiary institution students affairs conference, local and foreign engagement of student bodies/inauguration of national students management committee.
Asefon also noted that there will be an industrial attachment and internship placement to acceralate perfect placement and mandatory absorption of IT students in various fields of collaboration with CAC and MDAs.
He further emphasised the need to revive the reading culture in Nigeria, noting that the current government was committed to creating a conducive environment in that regard.