By Sunday John
Lafia – Students of Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia on Wednesday took to the streets to protest the non-accreditation of courses offered in the institution.
The students, who blocked a section of the Akwanga-Lafia highway, also accused the school management of “massive extortion”.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who covered the protest, reports that the students carried placards with various inscriptions some of which read “accredit our courses, we are tired of stories”, and “our certificates are not recognised”, among others.
Speaking to NAN, Umar Abdullahi, their spokesperson, accused management of forcing each student to pay N2,000 for accreditation since 2013.
“Each year we pay N2,000 for accreditation, yet nothing has happened,” he said.
He accused management of not making efforts to accredit courses after their accreditation were withdrawn in 2013.
“The situation is regrettable; students that graduated from the institution find it difficult to get admission or employment because the certificates are not recognised,” he said.
The spokesperson also called for the immediate sack of the management which he described as “incompetent”.
They vowed that no lecture would hold until their demands were met.
NAN reports that it took the intervention of Alhaji Abdullahi Agwai, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, aided by security personnel, to pacify the protesters.
Agwai assured the students that government would “do everything possible” to address the issue of accreditation of courses in the institution.
He, however, expressed shock that management was collecting N2,000 from students for accreditation.
“We will investigate the issue; I promise you that we will get to the root of the matter,” he said.
Contacted, Mr Augustine Ali-Gabu, Acting Rector of the Polytechnic, refused to comment on the matter.