By IKENNA ASOMBA
There seems to be no end in sight to the three years crisis rocking the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, since October 2011, when a new fees regime, which saw the overall tuition fees jerked up from N25, 000 to as much as N348, 750 was implemented in the university.
CURRENT FEES SINCE OCTOBER 2011
In what it described as concerted efforts to restore relative peace to the 30-year-old institution, which has been shut-down twice within the last three academic sessions (2011/2012, 2012/2013, 2013/2014), following students protests and rampages occasioned by the fees hike, the Lagos State Government, LASG, after a three-day stormy session in Alausa, last Wednesday, through the Special Adviser to the governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga announced the reduction of the university’s fees by 34 to 60 percent across the different faculties.
FEES BASED ON GOVERNMENT’S PROPOSED 34-60% REDUCTION
Government’s 17-paragraph resolution
In a 17-paragraph resolution titled: Resolutions of the Lagos State Executive Council on the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Lagos State University, Olukoga stated among other things that despite the foregoing, the Ad Hoc Committee has recommended and Government has accepted that the fees and charges payable by students for incidental services and materials are amenable to a downward review for two main reasons.
One, some of the fee components have been applied to students across all levels when in fact they can be justifiably limited to students at a particular level only; two, some of the charges included can still be reduced on compassionate grounds.
On the basis of these principles, Government agrees that with the subsidized tuition fees and appropriate moderation of the incidental fees, a reduction ranging from 34 per cent to 60 per cent is possible across the different faculties and courses.
Government has therefore approved the reductions and, in accordance with the Law setting up the University, forwarded its approval to the University Governing Council for consideration and implementation.
FEES BASED ON THE SUG’S PROPOSED 67% REDUCTION
60 or 67 per cent?
However, pending a final decision by the Governing Council led by Mr. Olabode Agusto, there are fresh indications that a cross section of students may be opting for at least 60 per cent maximum reduction across the various faculties.
The Students Union Government, SUG, President, Nurudeen Yusuf, last Thursday, in a press briefing insisted that only a 67 per cent reduction across board is acceptable to the generality of the students. Vanguard has gathered that some of the students who are already tired of the incessant delay in completing their academic career in the school, have welcomed nothing short of a 60 per cent reduction across the various faculties.
Eagerly awaiting a pronouncement by the Governing Council, concerned stakeholders have kept their fingers crossed on whether there is an end in sight to the three-year crises rocking the university over the steep fees hike.
Next line of action
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU-LASU, Dr. Idris Adekunle has refused to comment on the union’s next line of action over government’s 34-64 per cent reduction.
Idris said: Nobody has officially notified us about the 34-60 per cent reduction. However, as the tuition fee is one of the three core demands that made our union to embark on an indefinite strike, I cannot take a decision unilaterally on this. We have to take this latest development to Congress later in the week, which will take decision on the way forward.
As lecturers we owe it a duty to this country, not to keep our students on the streets unnecessarily. We pray that government will be sensitive to accede to our core demands for there to be an end in sight to these avoidable crises.
CURRENT FEES SINCE OCTOBER 2011