From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A renowned academia and politician, Prof Chris Imumolen, has promised to make education free and compulsory, at all levels if he is elected the President of Nigeria in 2023.
Prof. Imumolen who is the Presidential Aspirant under the Accord Party, described Nigeria as one of the undeveloped countries of the world where education ought to be subsidised or made free for people to get empowered and exit the poverty circle.
He announced scholarship opportunities for Nigerian students who are interested in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in various foreign universities across the world, as his personal intervention in education and human capital development in Nigeria.
He said the new opportunity will provide an alternative to students whose academic pursuit might have been affected by the periodic strike by University lecturers in Nigeria under the umbrella of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Announcing the commencement of the scholarship exercise in Abuja, on Wednesday, Prof Imumolen, explained that the scholarship is unique in the sense that it is completely free and students can maximise the digital education opportunity being offered by the universities to acquire the knowledge and skills.
He said: “I have done this human services for years now, and over 500, 000 Nigerian students have benefitted from it in various study fields. I choose not to make it known in the past because I wasn’t looking for glory or people to commend me for my passion for service to humanity.
“However, I choose otherwise this time because I want to reassure Nigerians of my commitment to educational and human capital development. We understand the importance of education in the liberation of people and nation-building,”
While he appealed to Federal Government and ASUU to reach a compromise on their contentious issues, he encouraged students to take advantage of the scholarship opportunity to acquire education and skills in any field of study.
He said: “millions of students are at home because of ASUU problem or inability to secure admission. However, the opportunity is here for them to get an education from the comfort of their homes using the various digital tools available.
“Evidently, Nigeria is one of the undeveloped countries in the world, hence education should either be subsidised or free. That’s one of my goals when I become Nigeria’s President. It’s doable and not rocket science. We are doing it with our private funds now and more would be done with more resources.
“There is a need to digitalise our education system to conform with the global practice. Institutions in Nigeria must have access to digital learning which is the standard practice nationwide, and I am championing that push.
“The scholarship is a pure digital learning scholarship with foreign universities accredited in their own countries to offer various academic programmes. These scholarships are being attracted through our goodwill and support from people we have worked with in the past.
“We have integrity, hence we enjoy partnership, goodwill and support of the Universities, and we want our people to enjoy the quality education that they offer.”