Save Students From Shylock Traders In Ondo Academic Communities,  NANS Begs Akeredolu, Stakeholders

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As the effect of the rising inflation bites harder and the challenges of cashless policy in the country is yet to abate, the umbrella body of students in Nigeria, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) had called on the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu to intervene as traders in academic communities in the state are making learning and living difficult for students.

As the situation in communities populated by students is becoming unbearable, NANS Joint Campus Council (JCC) Chairman, Comrade Akinola Elijah and Comrade Okeniyi Elijah, the Public Relations Officer in a joint address to Governor Akeredolu described the trend of exploitation as heartless.

NANS in the statement titled: “Hike In Prices Of Goods And Services In Students Communities Within Ondo State Is Inhumane and Completely Unacceptable NANS Ondo Kicks”, regretted that the cashless policy has inflicted hardships on economic and social activities that have made living miserable for many students in the state who are surviving at the mercy of shylock traders in communities populated by students.

The statement made available to Educatiin Roadmap read, “The attention of the leadership of NANS JCC, Ondo axis has been drawn to the continuous hike and deliberate inflation in the prices of goods and services within the student communities within Ondo State.

“It is no more news that a few weeks ago, the entire country was thrown into huge disarray following the anti-masses cash policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria concerning the acceptance of the Old Naira notes as legal tenders despite the Supreme Court ruling declaring our old N200, N500 and N1,000 Naira notes as legal tenders till December, 31st 2023.

NANS lamented that the economic hardship has left students with no option but to patronize those who have deliberately inflated the prices of goods, services and transport costs by a hundred percent.

“Info at our disposal from a 300-level student of Adekunle Ajashin University Akungba-Akoko reveals that when students eat at some restaurants within the student’s community, they are stylishly been extorted for paying through either mobile transfer or via POS.

“One of the price hike issues that also need to be addressed is the transport fare on campus. For example, the FUTA Campus Shuttle transport fare spiked double (from #50 to #100) with the excuse of fuel & naira scarcity. Now that both issues are no longer threats, the transport drivers are yet to drop the prices back to normal.

“An ND-1 student of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, RUGIPO, who also lodged his complaint to the apex student’s governing body in the state expressed disappointment at the refusal of a shoe mender to give him his amended sandal until N100 extra charges were paid even after the student already paid the agreed amount for service rendered.

“It has been further discovered that the unavailability of the naira in circulation has made many business owners and vendors add extra charges to their normal prices of goods and services despite the Supreme Court judgment, an act we consider extortion, and will be vehemently resisted. It is quite sardonic that a cold bottle of drink which normally goes for #200 has been inflated to #250 by cash and #300 via mobile transfer or POS.

“We are calling on the Executive Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN. Kindly come to our aid as a lover of Nigerian Students even as we shall consider consulting the Ondo State Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative Services because we expect them to serve as checks and balances against stylish and deliberate extortion.

“Finally, as a peace-loving yet radically inclined students organization, we are willingly willing and ready to sanitize the entire Ondo State Students’ community and its inhabitants, either students or non-students, basically to curb this awful, inhumane, calculated and deliberate inimical attitude in the best possible way.

NANS added, “It is extremely important and morally right for food vendors, fish sellers, meat sellers, POS agents, snack sellers, pepper sellers, and shawarma vendors, among others to ensure they get their prices back to the normal status quo and be considerate of buyers”.

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