February 5, 2023

Cash swap: Students are suffering — Parents, NANS

By Adesina Wahab
Student leaders and parents have appealed to the federal government, FG, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to find means of ameliorating the hardship brought about by the redesigning of the naira, saying students are suffering as a result of not having access to the local currency.
According to them, urgent steps must be taken so that the issue would not get out of hand.
The National President of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, the immediate past National President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Sunday Asefon, and the Southwest Coordinator of NANS, Adejuwon Emmanuel Olatunji, faulted the implementation of the exercise in chats with Vanguard newspaper.
“The issue with the policy is the way it is being implemented. The implementation has brought a lot of hardship to students. When you send money to your child in school, to be able to collect the money is another thing. If a student wants to manage say N1,000 to buy something, in some places, the POS operators may give him or her N700 or N800.
“Also, most of our campuses don’t have full fledge banks, some banks only have their presence through a few ATM stands. The machines are not loaded with money and what will the students collect? Even students in boarding houses at lower levels of education are not exempted from the hardship. You don’t expect the students to be fed the way they would be if at home, so parents try to augment that by sending money to their accounts, then there is no way to collect the cash,” he said.
Danjuma called for a quick review of the situation before things would get out of hand.
Asefon, who said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari should remember its promises for Nigerians, noted that Nigerians were now getting what they did not bargain for.
“Many parents are reeling under the yoke of the economic crunch in the country, then came this policy. The implementation has been awful and terrible. Students are groaning and this cannot continue. Look at the cost of commuting to school. From Fajuyi Park in Ado Ekiti to my school, Ekiti State University, the shuttle buses used to collect N100 per trip, but late last year, they increased it to N200 and now last week, it jumped to N300.
“They tell us that we should do everything online. Our banks don’t have the capacity to take all things online. Their severs have not been upgraded. Even now using USSD code to transfer money is very difficult. I collected N10,000 from a POS operator was charged N1,500 as commission. If students are charged such huge amount, what would now remain of the allowances sent to them by their parents?
“The CBN is culpable and its leadership have some explaining to do. The value of the naira has depreciated badly. The quality of living has gone down. Urgent steps must be taken before we have a crisis situation on hand,” he stated.
Olatunji opined that Nigerians are expectant that before the seven days promised by Buhari would lapse, the situation would have normalised.
“We can all see the ugly videos all over the country about people who felt frustrated by the development. Some striping themselves naked, some attacking banks and government facilities, we must not let things get to boiling point,” he counselled.