The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit (MSSN Lagos), has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to allocate the funds saved from the elimination of fuel subsidy to expedite comprehensive improvements in the education sector.
In an official statement issued by Kamoldeen Abiona, the Amir (President) of MSSN Lagos, the organization emphasized its vigilant monitoring of President Tinubu’s recent Presidential Broadcast addressing the nation’s prevailing economic challenges. The statement conveyed the society’s appreciation for President Tinubu’s dedication to addressing these urgent issues, while also stressing the importance of a targeted and swift implementation of reforms within the education sphere to ensure the future strength of the education system.
Abiona underlined that MSSN Lagos acknowledges the importance of redirecting funds from the fuel subsidy removal toward critical areas such as public transportation, healthcare, schools, housing, and national security.
The statement reads, “However, we also recognize that these policy changes may have implications for the education sector, especially if adequate measures are not taken to ensure timely and effective implementation of educational reforms.
“It’s important to note that while the speech highlights the potential positive impacts on the education sector, the actual implementation and effectiveness of these policies will depend on various factors, including proper execution, allocation of funds, and economic conditions.
“Education plays a pivotal role in the development of any nation, and Nigeria is no exception. As the youth, we believe that investing in education is essential for our nation’s progress and prosperity. We, therefore, call on the government to prioritise the following recommendations to safeguard the education sector amidst the ongoing economic challenges:
“We appeal to the government to swiftly implement its plans to make education more affordable. Proper planning and prompt execution of these initiatives will enable thousands of students to pursue their educational dreams without financial constraints.
“The government must demonstrate transparency in allocating the saved funds from the fuel subsidy removal to the education sector. We recommend regular updates and public disclosures on how these funds are being utilised to strengthen educational infrastructure, improve teaching quality, and enhance learning resources.”
Abiona further stated, “We also call for close collaboration between the government, educational institutions, and civil society organisations to identify and address the most pressing challenges facing the education sector. Inclusive and transparent dialogues will help to develop effective strategies to tackle these challenges collectively.
“As the economic challenges persist, educational institutions are already in financial difficulties. This is evident by the increase in services-based fees by some federally-owned higher institutions. We urge the government to provide timely support to educational institutions, especially those in need, to ensure the continuity of quality education and avoid disruptions in academic activities.
“It is essential for the government to carefully consider the potential adverse effects of its policies on the education sector and take appropriate measures to mitigate any negative consequences. Properly prioritising education funding and ensuring swift and transparent implementation of educational reforms are crucial to safeguarding the future of the country’s education system.
“MSSN Lagos remains committed to promoting the welfare and interests of Muslim students and the larger educational community. We stand ready to work hand in hand with the government and other stakeholders to achieve a more robust and inclusive education system that benefits all Nigerians.
“As we navigate through these challenging times, we remain hopeful that with strategic and timely implementation of educational reforms, Nigeria will emerge stronger and better equipped to seize the opportunities that await us,” he stated.
Subsidy Removal Loan:
On the Federal Government palliative measures, MSSN Lagos expressed concern over the proposal of the President to provide interest-based loans as a means of cushioning the effects of the fuel subsidy removal.
“While this may appear as a good initiative, the flip side is that a majority of Muslims, who do not take non-interest loans have been excluded from the benefit of the loan package. Mr President should be reminded that he might not have emerged without the votes of the Muslim majority and the subsidy removal affects all.
“While we appreciate the government’s efforts to alleviate economic challenges, we are mindful of the religious obligations of a significant portion of Muslims, who do not engage in usury. As an inclusive society, it is vital to consider the religious sensitivities of all citizens, especially in matters of financial assistance.
“We humbly urge President Tinubu to explore alternative methods of providing support to those affected by the subsidy removal, ensuring that it does not inadvertently exclude or burden any religious group. It is essential to adopt measures that uphold the principles of fairness and equal access to resources for all citizens, regardless of their religious beliefs. We believe that through careful consideration and consultation, a more inclusive and sustainable solution can be found,” the statement added.