The National Association of Nigerian Students has called on the Federal Government to include students in the national response to the coronavirus pandemic to enable them gain experience now and for the future. The NANS president, Comrade Danielson Akpan made this call in Abuja while speaking with newsmen.
According to him, it is a wrong move for the Government not to include members of NANS and other youth organizations in the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
“We demand for immediate inclusion of NANS and youth organisations in the presidential task force and equally demand for mobilisation of health-related students to serve as ad hoc staff or supportive staff to enable them to gain experience now and for the future,” he said.
He, however, commended the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to release palliative funds and materials in the face of the pandemic but expressed concern over what he described as “lack of transparency and accountability” in the disbursement of the palliative funds and materials to cushion the effect of the lockdown.
He said: “We condemn in totality the pattern of disbursement so far as claimed by the PTF and other government officials. The process is not transparent and does not get to the vulnerable people as claimed, while no one knows where those mentioned billions have been spent since the palliative measures began.
“Should we continue like this, people will die in hunger and we don’t want to have a situation where we will begin to have kwashiorkor in the country or young people taking to crimes and breaking laws all in a bid to survive.
“As integral part of the society, we cannot proudly claim to have seen or had access to data of those that have collected from the COVID-19 palliative measures.
“Information at our disposal revealed that while government earmarked N20,000 for the vulnerable Nigerians, a paltry N10,000 was disbursed in carefully selected remote rural areas.
“Information reaching us further revealed that they are trying to conjure fake data to cover up to show that they have given to large numbers of people. All concerned must be ready to render account of their stewardship in this trying moment of our national life.” He said