At the resumption of plenary today after many weeks of recession, the Niger State House of Assembly approved the dissolution of all statutory commissions, boards, and parastatals carried out by Governor Mohammed Umaru Bago and called on him to always intimate them on time.
The governor's letter at the plenary was read by the Speaker, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Afiniki Dauda.
During debate, although the members agreed that it was the prerogative of the governor to dissolve such boards, they argued that he should have allowed for their contribution, especially because these boards were tenure-based and to give room for proper interpretation of the law.
After thorough debate amongst the members, they all agreed to the dissolution but urged the governor to always inform them on time, as the leadership of the House will meet with the governor for dialogue.
Also at the sitting, the Member representing Shiroro Local Government, Hon. Andrew Doma, moved a motion calling on the Niger State Government to strategize and address the constant attacks by bandits in Shiroro LGA.
It was passed through with modifications and other prayers, as the government was called upon to reform the security architecture in Niger State to tackle bandit attacks on Shiroro, Munya Paikoro, and other affected LGAs in the state.
The motion was passed with modifications and other prayers as they called on the government to reform the security architecture in Niger State in order to tackle bandit attacks on Shiroro, Munya, Paikoro, and other affected LGAs in the state.
A motion inviting the state Commissioner of Police, state commander of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Commandant of the Vigilante Corps, moved by Muhammad Abubakar of Chanchaga constituency, prompted by the recent robbery attack at the Emir's Palace Minna, also passed.
After much deliberation on the floor of the House, the incident was condemned entirely, with a call to the police to take the investigation seriously and find the culprits.
The House also appealed to the Chanchaga Local Government to come to the aid of the workers whose salaries were carted away in the robbery attack.
The Students' Wing of the Coalition of Northern Groups (SW-CNG), Niger State Chapter, has rejected the recently signed student loan act, calling for a review of the act before the commencement of implementation.
In a town hall meeting held at the School of Health Technology, Minna, the group observed that the students' loan programme was done in good faith but that the stringent criteria attached for its eligibility will render the majority of the students ineligible for the loan.
In a communiqué issued after the town hall meeting, the group said it had observed with concern the recent developments in the education sector, particularly the university system, and top among the issues were the hiking of registration fees by some federal universities and the introduction of a student loan scheme.
According to the CNG-SW, the introduction of exorbitant fees and student loans in our universities was not in the best interest of the students, especially with stringent conditions attached, and they were likely to deter indigent students from the chance of a university education.
The group added that it was certain that all the criteria set for loans to prospective students remained extremely difficult to fulfil for the children of the poor, stressing the need to review the Act to make the loan accessible to all interested students, particularly the aspect of the guarantor and the repayment period.
"CNG Students Wing, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to review the strict criteria to make it accessible to students.
We call on the Federal Universities to also rescind their decisions to hike registration fees in the interest of the country," the group added in the communiqué.
The CNG-SW added that it was determined to engage all stakeholders to bring succour to students and called on students who can afford to pay their school fees to do so to enable only the less privileged to have access to the loan.
In his presentation on the theme of the town hall meeting, the guest speaker, who is equally the immediate past Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Niger State Chapter, Comrade Bello Barau Sherif, observed that the idea was to provide access to quality education to the children of the common man.
He said the student loan was a good development, but the point of contention was the criteria for eligibility, adding that some of the basic requirements might not be within the reach of the students who genuinely needed the loan.
Comrade Bello Sharif revealed that the student loan was a global practise but that the criteria for eligibility were too cumbersome for the students to access the loan. He called on the federal government to look into it and make a review so that the aim of introducing it would be achieved.
In their separate goodwill messages, the Chairman of NYCN's Niger State Chapter, Comrade Abdullahi Ishaq, and the former national President of the National Association of Niger State Students (NANISS), Comrade Gambo Mohammed, observed that at the moment students did not need loans but grants and support.
With the current realities on the ground due to the fuel subsidy removal, the government should not be talking about loans for students but palliatives for students to cushion the effects of the subsidy removal, urging the students to resist the temptation of trying to access the loan.