By Ezra Ukanwa
THE leadership of the National Association of Polytechnic Students, NAPS, weekend, bemoaned the deplorable state of infrastructure and the neglect of students at the Federal Polytechnic, Kaduna.
This was as they called on the Federal Government and other relevant authorities to wade into the issue to ensure that all basic amenities due to the students were adequately deployed.
Vice President, External Affairs of NAPS, Lawal Muhammed, made this call during a press briefing, with the theme: ‘State of Nigeria polytechnic hostel facilities, Kaduna Polytechnic as a case study’, in Abuja.
Disclosing that despite the poor percentage of budgetary allocation for the educational sector, and the fraction of it that was channelled to putting in place infrastructures in polytechnics, very little has been done to provide habitable hostel facilities for students.
Muhammed said: “Therefore, the leadership of the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) feels it’s very important to set the records straight for the public and the concerned authorities’ both ICRC and the Federal Ministry of Education to know that, it is no longer news how students are being neglected without the basic amenities that warrant a conducive atmosphere for learning”.
“Revealing the very essence of this press conference has become an urgent task as it connects to accommodation problems and hardship being faced by a large number of Nigeria students especially in Kaduna Polytechnic as a resultant effect of those who are opposing the right decision to be implemented.
“Despite allocating just a fraction of the little percentage of the budget to Education, the lean resources and under-funding of the Educational sector, the present Executive Secretary of NBTE, Prof. Idris Ibrahim Bugaje, who was then Rector had initiated the idea of Public Private Partnership (PPP), with the aim of raising the quality of the hostels to a more befitting standard and habitable.
“We want to opine, in strong terms that, the present Rector must be compelled by the appropriate quarters to submit for onward review the BOQ submitted by KYC interproject, to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the Federal Ministry of Education in order to help meet up with the shortfall of students accommodation, to curb the problem of transportation, insecurity and rent outside the campus. The hostels to be renovated and upgraded with state-of-the-art aesthetics are Eighteen blocks(18) with four thousand bed space(capacity).
“NAPS is calling and appealing in strong terms to NBTE, the federal government and Federal Ministry of Education, on the urgent need to call to a roundtable the contractor KYC interproject, to revisit and focus it’s lens on the plan submitted and, allow the company to move to site since it has been sinking its personal funds based on PPP concession. Personal interest by the leadership of Kaduna Polytechnic management should not stall the already standard raised by KYC Interproject, else any plan to compromise the already signed agreement, will be left with no option but to mobilize the entire students for a total and indefinite shutdown of Kaduna Polytechnic.”