Youths in Benue have called on the state government to reduce the school fees paid by students at the state owned tertiary institution, Benue State University, BSU, Makurdi.
Majority Leader, Youth Parliament, John Mark Tarnongo, made the call on Wednesday while speaking at Youth Interactive Forum organised by the First Lady of Benue State, Dr. Eunice Ortom to commemorate the International World Youth Day, 2019.
The event themed: “Transforming Education, Curbing Societal Vices” was organized by Mrs. Ortom in conjunction with ZTREX SYSTEMS, Eunice Spring of Life Foundation, ESLF, BENGONET and CSO-B.
Tarnongo, who lamented the very high fees paid by BSU students said their parents were finding it too difficult to pay especially as most parents had two to three students to pay for at the same time.
The youth leader also called for improved facilities at the school such as expansion of lecture halls, provision of public address systems to be used during lectures as well as more hostel accommadation for a better learning environment.
While appreciating Mrs. Ortom for helping the less privileged in the state, he further advocated that education should be made free for Benue children from primary up to junior secondary schools, (Basic 9).
Earlier, Gov. Samuel Ortom while declaring the event open urged the youth to take their academic work very seriously and also take advantage of the various youth empowerment programmes provided by various government agencies for their self sustenability and relevance to the society.
Ortom advised the youths to be law abiding and avoid any form of lifestyle that does not conform with the culture and values of the state just as he pledged to continue to defend the Benue people.
The governor said no meaningful development would take place in an atmosphere of chaos.
Also speaking, the first lady said she was excited about the day WYD because it afforded stakeholders the opportunity to address issues affecting youth development and inclusion in national development.
She urged the youths to embrace creativity and increase their self motivation to achieve their dreams for a better future.
Mrs. Ortom, who emphasized that education without character was nothing, urged the youths to shun all vices that limit their potentials pledging that the Samuel Ortom-led administration would continue to fulfill its duties to the Benue youth.
Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mrs. Ladi Isegbe-Ajene urged parents to stop imposing careers and positions on the children, but to allow them choose a career where they have interest and passion.
She encourage the youths to engage in sports citivities for both mental and psysical development.
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Denis Ityavyar described the youths as the fulcrum of development of the society and assured that the Ministry will implement the guidelines of the national council of education to ensure that they are provided with access to qaulity education.
A House of Assembly Member representing Makurdi South, Hon. Terwase Aondakaa said the celebration was apt as the youths were contributing their quota in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He advised that to develop the Benue society, state government must develop an educational system that would address the needs of the youths.