April 9, 2018

500 % VARSITY FEES HIKE: Parents, students, others fault Ondo govt

500 % VARSITY FEES HIKE: Parents, students, others fault Ondo govt

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE—ANGER yesterday, trailed the 500 per cent tuition fees increase by the management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, AAUA, in  Akoko, as parents and students vowed to resist the increment.

The students, who have been out of school for over 80 days after completing their first semester examination, kicked against the increment, vowing to resist it.

The tuition fee, which was N25, 000, was increased to N200, 000 by the state government, a development which generated condemnation across the state.

Announcing the commencement of the 2017/2018 academic activities, Head, Information, Protocol and Public Relations of AAUA, Sola Imoru, in a statement said “Faculties of Arts and Education – Fresh Students: N150,000, returning students: N120,000, Faculties of Science, Agric, Social and Mgt. Sciences- Fresh Students would pay: N180, 000, returning Students: N150, 000.

Others include Faculty of Law – Fresh Students: 200,000, returning Students: N150, 000.”

We won’t pay — Student body

Reacting to the increase, President of the National Association of Ondo State Students, Morayo Popoola has asked the students “not to pay any school fees for now.”

Popoola, in a statement, asked the students to “print your school fee invoice and keep calm. An update will be released soon  for our next line of action; just remain calm.”

He also urged fresh students not “to create an account for now as an update is coming as regards that.”

Also rejecting the increment, chairman of the NANS Joint Campus Committee JCC, Adewunmi Adebowale said the increment will “bring more hardship on indigent Nigerian students.”

Adebowale said: “In lieu of this, AAUA students are strongly advised not to go ahead with any payment. All students should kindly boycott the  April 9th, 2018 resumption date as our agitations continue.”

In his reaction, the president, Students Union Government, SUG, Olawale Ijanusi, after a meeting with government officials and the governing council, said the meeting ended in a deadlock.

Olawale said students of the institution would not resume as directed by the council.

Faulting the state government, coordinator of PDP Grassroot Mobilizers in Ondo State, Mr. Kunle Ajibogun appealed to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to govern with a human face.

In a statement, the group condemned the “decision to increase tuition in the state-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, by between 500 and 800 percent.

“The government had earlier stopped payment of WAEC fees for senior secondary school students. Free education has also been canceled at the secondary school level.

“It is a lamentable irony that a governor elected on the platform of a supposedly progressive political party is destroying the much-cherished legacies of free and affordable education and health in the state.”

Parents tackle govt

Lampooning the state government over the increment, some parents accused the state governor of reneging on his campaign promise of not increasing the tuition fees in the state tertiary institutions.

They vowed to resist the increment by the governing council just as they asked the government not to approve it.

One of the parents, Abiodun Jegede, a civil servant, who has two students in the institution, described the increase as “wickedness of the highest order.”

Meanwhile, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council of the institution, Dr. Tunji Abayomi said the council will “put up measures to make payment of the coming fees regime easy for all.”

“There will be options to pay by installments, while efforts will be made to ensure the fees will be less than the  rumoured  N200, 000, which we know will be difficult for most parents to pay”, Abayomi said.

Govt explains increment

Meanwhile, the Ondo State government has explained that the increment in tuition fee was because of the crisis situation it inherited in the university. Explaining the increment, the Information, and Orientation Commissioner, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi denied that it was up 500 percent increment

He said: “The Governing Council looked at the fees paid by students in the State University of Science and Technology which were between N120,000 and N150,000, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, between N350, 000 and N450,000, while students of Adekunle Ajasin University pay N30,000 as tuition fee.

“Seven months before we came on board, salaries were not paid, accreditations were lost and no subvention paid to the institution. It was a crisis situation that we met on ground in the institution.

“It was after all these that the Governing Council decided that what the students in the institution were paying, as fees, was unrealistic.”