NANS urges Senate to pass sexual harassment bill||

The National Association of Nigerian Students has urged the Senate to “immediately pass into law” the Sexual Harassment Bill in order to curtail the sexual abuses of Nigerian female students.

The NANS President, Chinonso Obasi, disclosed this at a briefing in Abuja, while making reference to the recent sex-for-marks incident at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Osun State.

The Sexual Harassment Bill, which was sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege in October 2016, seeks a five-year jail term and N5m fine for lecturers convicted for sexually harassing male or female students.

The NANS President said, “There are ongoing issues with sexual harassment which particularly affect female students in our institutions, a menace that is widely referred to as sex-for-marks. For many of us, this menace did not start today. It is gradually turning into a culture among lecturers. Some lecturers seem to have made it a way of life. As the umbrella body of students, we have set up platforms to address this decay and to sensitise students to report appropriately to the designated quarters.

“On the Sexual Harassment Bill being proposed by the Senate to address this indecency, we do not expect the lecturers to agree to the bill. They have been kicking against it and calling it names. But we urge the Senate to pass the bill. We are mobilising the students in their numbers to march to the National Assembly to see that the bill sees the light of the day. Such a bill will have our support as it will be one of the strong securities for our harassed female students.”

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