Unity Schools’ Parents Call on Federal Government to Investigate NICON Insurance

A group of parents of students in the Federal Government owned secondary schools across the country under the aegis of Unity Schools Parents Forum has called on the Federal government and the Economic Financial Crime commission, (EFCC) to investigate the exploitation of parents and their wards in the federal unity schools through an insurance scheme facilitated by NICON insurance in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education.

According to the spokesperson of the group, Kingsley Akindele, the entire parent is yet to understand the nitty-gritty of the contract and the facts about the actual arrangement the unity schools through the Federal Ministry of Education have with the NICON insurance company.

The group said the concern was initially raised last year by the National Association of Parents and Teachers of Federal Government Colleges, an affiliate body of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), through a press release which was available in the media as well as the communiqué of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Par­ent Teacher Association of Fed­eral Government Colleges (NAPTAFEGC), South-west Zone, in her quarterly meeting held at the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment Girls’ Col­lege, Akure, Ondo State, March last year.

Akindele said, despite the fact that the two groups through their respective medium re­jected what they de­scribed as the imposition of an un­nec­es­sary in­sur­ance pol­icy scheme on stu­dents of unity colleges and called for the stan­dard­i­s­a­tion of ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try. Federal Government owned secondary schools still go ahead to include levies for the scheme in the current school levy to be paid by the student at resumption in September this year.
“We want to again call the attention of the Federal Government, through the ministry of education and especially the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to look closely at the scheme which no parent seems to understand. This issue have been raised consecutively by the National Association of Parents and Teachers of Federal Government Colleges, an affiliate body of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA), through Mr Ehis Ogbeide, the former Chairman of PTA, Federal Government College, Kwali and North Central Zonal Coordinator of National Association of Parents and Teachers of Federal Government Colleges, and Par­ent Teacher As­so­ci­a­tion of Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment Col­leges (NAPTAFEGC), South-west Zone through, Akin Ashi­molowo, the PTA Chair­man of FGC Akure, who then spoke respectively at different forum confirmed the reservations of the parents about the scheme” Akindele stated.

Speaking further, the group said it was also alleged by an organisation last year that a political party used money from the scheme to fund its presidential campaign in the 2015 presidential election. “It was alleged last year by Concerned Parents of Unity Schools in Kwara state as reported by a national newspaper that money from the scheme might have been used to raise campaign funds for PDP as the NICON insurance company is owned by Jimoh Ibrahim, who is a notable PDP stakeholder.”

“What the parents deserve to know now, is the genuineness of the scheme. We want to ask the insurance company to provide the contract papers between them and the parents/their wards, we want to know how many children that have been assessed so far, since the inception of the scheme 3 years ago and we want to know how many parents they have given the forms to and how many have returned theirs for the company to have the data of the students they are insuring.” He declared.

NICON Insurance scheme was introduced to all students in the federal government owned secondary schools otherwise known as the unity secondary schools throughout the country in 2014. Since then, it has continued to generate abysmal controversy, where the majority of the parents claimed that the annual N5000 per children is of the high side, which means over 200,000 students from 104 unity schools nationwide will equal to over a billion naira annually. And most importantly, the parents have never in any way contacted or contracted into the scheme by the insurance company, the school authority or the federal government.