COVID-19: Reps advocates emergency fund for tertiary institutions

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

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The House of Representatives has urged the government to set up a fifteen billion naira Coronavirus emergency fund for Nigerian universities and tertiary institutions.

The fund was to respond to the impact of Coronavirus on academic research and administrative operations of universities across the country.

This was contained in a motion on the need to set up a N15b Coronavirus emergency fund for Nigerian universities and tertiary institutions, unanimously adopted by the House.

Presenting the motion on behalf of his nine colleagues, Mr. Steve Azaiki from Bayelsa State expressed concern that Coronavirus pandemic had a devastating impact on the Nigerian education system especially universities and tertiary institutions.

Mr. Azaiki explained that the fund apart from mitigating the impact of the pandemic would serve as motivational incentives for research and discovery, to develop the nation’s healthcare system.

“Worried that universities and tertiary institutions’ tuition income will nose-dive as parents who lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic are less likely to fund the university or tertiary education of their wards, as students may demand fee reduction and waivers in the light of economic recession coupled with the shock of unemployment rates that could reach an estimated global average of 25%, higher education may also seem like a luxury for many”, he said.

While adopting the motion, the House urged the government to immediately establish an Infectious Diseases Research Institute in six selected federal universities across the six Geo-political zones of the country and to empower some special universities to build their capacity so as to meet up with the national demand on testing due to rising number of Coronavirus cases.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

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