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All Africa students’ union decries high cost of education in Africa

June 16 was declared African Student’s Day at the 6th Ordinary Congress of the All-Africa Students Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1982, to commemorate the memory of students, who were massacred in Soweto, South
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The All-Africa Students’ Union (AASU) has lamented the high cost of education in the continent, saying hike in school fees in all African countries has become the order of the day.

The pan-African students body also applauded the Dangote Group led by Nigerian businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, for establishing a world-class oil refinery in Nigeria.

The President of AASU, Mr Osisiogu Osikenyi, stated these during a world press conference held in Ethiopia, to mark the 2023 Africa Student’s Day tagged “Back To Addis”.

June 16 was declared African Student’s Day at the 6th Ordinary Congress of the All-Africa Students Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1982, to commemorate the memory of students, who were massacred in Soweto, South

Africa, on June 16, 1976 for protesting against education injustice and inequality under the then Apartheid regime.

Osikenyi in the text of the press briefing made available to journalists said: “Every year, the cost of studying in institutions of learning is becoming unbearable for students; where for instance university students will squeeze out an average of 3000 US dollars in 2023; Institutions of Higher Learning have gone on a spree of fee hike with little or no palliative for students save for the some Governments that put in place succor that come the way of indigent students in the country.”

Speaking futher on the recently inaugurated Dangote Refinery in Lgaos, Nigeria, the continental student union leader said, “as Africa’s quest for Industrial Self-Reliance received a major boost last month with the historic commissioning of the 650,00 barrels per day Oil Refinery by the Dangote Group being one of the most diversified business conglomerates in Africa with a hard-earned reputation for excellent business practices and products’ quality.”

He said Dangote Refinery and Petrochemicals plant is one project in Africa that is set to serve as catalyst for the nation’s accelerated economic growth and development, warning desperate oil dealers against moving to destroy the company.

“We are not unaware of the on-going campaign of calumny being mounted by disgruntled elements especially, the fuel subsidy thieves, Nigeria’s Refineries Turn-Around Maintenance Consultants and unpatriotic modular refinery operators as well as other competitors who are feeling threatened by the coming on stream of the Dangote Refinery; they are warned not to incur the wrath of students on the continent whose future had already been mortgaged by those diabolic rent seekers.

“We therefore call on Governments of Africa and other stakeholders to continue to give their unalloyed and pragmatic support to Alhaji Aliko Dangote; and warm detractors who are enemies of Africa’s progress to desist from wanton smear campaigns on him and his investments that have been of tremendous blessing to Africa on all sides,” he stated.

AASU also described the signing of the Student Loan Bill into law in Nigeria and the decision to establish Education Bank by the Nigeria’s new President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as welcome development, commending similar policies by other governments in Africa.

Frowning at insecurity on campuses especially attacks on education institutions in parts of Africa, he added that, “We therefore request the AU Commission to integrate Campus Safety into Silencing the Guns campaign and/or other similar campaigns, as well as to develop a comprehensive policy on proactive Campus Safety support operations for African countries to adopt.”

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