BENINâ€”Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said the state government approved marginal increment in school fees at Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, in order to make radical changes in the infrastructural development of the university and make it comparable to any higher institution in the world.
Oshiomhole stated this in an interaction with a cross-section of students of the university at Ekpoma, weekend.
According to the governor, â€œthe objective is not for AAU to raise money to support Edo State government. Every kobo generated in AAU will be reinvested in the institution.”
Comrade Oshiomhole re-emphasized that government would continue to give subvention to the university, adding that â€œwe will even increase it, butÂ the money we would grant, including the increase, must go into building new structures, providing facilities for learning and ensuring minimum comfort for the students.
The governor argued that a situation where growth of the university had remained stagnant, where Nigerian students have to do remedial examinations to get admitted into foreign universities is unacceptable.
â€œShould we uphold the old order where year in, year out, there is nothing new by way of development in AAU except the printer that prints certificate? My own sense and my own idea of patriotism prescribe that we drive change, so we settled for fees’ increase,â€ he noted.
He disclosed that there was a cost of doing something, as there was also a huge cost of doing nothing, stressing that whichever cost one accepts was a matter of choice.
â€œI prefer that the students contribute and the government contributes to rebuild the university so that it can regain its status which Prof. Ambrose Alli intended it to be,â€ he added.
Comrade Oshiomhole observed that he had always been a friend of the university, noting that he had fought the cause of the students and his credentials as a friend of students could not be disputed.
He said students representatives were going to be fully involved in decision making regarding the disbursement of funds for the university development adding that from the time school re-opens; new students would be put in place to justify the increase in school fees.
â€œAAU has to grow and because the studentâ€™s union government had made strong representation, we then reduced the fee from N70, 0000 to N49, 500. I thought in doing this, we have shown that we can listen. It is not that this is enough to transform the place, but it provides a basis for us to provide a new investment,â€ he noted.