Controversial Nigeria socio-political writer, Reno Omokri has reacted to critics, condemning the Student Loan Initiative signed into law by President Bola Tinubu not to do so, adding that the nation’s leader has made a good move.
Omokiri said those in the opposition should not to be in a hurry to condemn Tinubu’s every move as he is human and would soon make a mistake and they would have a field day of tearing him apart.
He added that the Loan Initiative which some people were criticizing under the premise that there was free education in the past, was a step toward the right direction.
Sharing an old picture of Wole Soyinka, the political analyst argued that there was no free education in the past, instead what was available were scholarships for some deserving students.
“Let us not conflate issues. Nigeria never had free education up to university level. Never. Free education was only up to secondary level, and it still exists today in some states. What obtained in the 50s and 60s was that deserving students got scholarships. At that time, the number of Nigerians attending university was almost negligible.
“Professor Wole Soyinka, (who is pictured in his matriculation gown) for example, paid to attend the University College Ibadan. It was not free. Ditto the late Bola Ige, Ignatius Atigbi, and other prominent intellectuals from that era.
“Things have changed now. Over 1.5 million Nigerians seek university admission annually. It is not possible to give them free university education. It will bankrupt Nigeria. Our public universities are already HEAVILY subsidised, and President Jonathan introduced the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovations and Development scholarships (PRESSID), but it only gives automatic scholarships to First Class graduates of Nigerian universities.
“The Student Loan scheme signed by President Tinubu is, therefore, a good idea. We should not criticise it blindly because we are in the opposition. What alternative do those criticising have? If they do not have a better option, they should not undermine a good thing. President Tinubu is human. He will soon make a mistake, and we will descend on him mercilessly. But when he does good, we should not act as spoilers.”