By Adesina Wahab
THE management and students of the Lagos State University, LASU, Ojo, are now eagerly awaiting what the decision of the Visitor to the university, who is also the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, will be on the issue of the recent increment in tuition fee from N25, 000 to N67, 000 per session.
The new fee regime will start with the new set of students that will come in from 2020/21 academic session. Stale students from those that will soon be in 200 level upward are exempted and will pay the old rate of N25,000 per session until they finish their programmes.
Though exempted from the new fee regime, the old students, through their Student Union Government, SUG, rejected the development and threatened some actions that would have spoilt the five years of peaceful and harmonious relationship between the students and the management of the university.
A source told Vanguard that the matter is now before the governor, through his Special Adviser on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, to decide whether the fee will be reduced or not.
“The new fee matter is now before the governor to decide what to do. It is the state government that owns the university and if the management decided to augment whatever the state gives it by that adjustment in tuition fee, then if the owners feel the increment is not necessary or too much, they will have to find a way to compensate the university revenue wise.
“Also, if the owners said the new fee regime should stay, it will stay. Realistically speaking, the fee is not too much since it is for a year, not a semester. We all know what people pay as fees for their children in some private primary schools in this Lagos,” a state official said in confidence.
While commenting on the development, the Coordinator Centre for Information Press and Public Relations, CIPPR, LASU, Mr Ademola Adekoya, said the management of the university carried every stakeholder along before the increment was arrived at.
“The truth is that everybody was carried along before the management came up with the new fee. The students, through their leaders were also informed. That is not saying that all of them supported it. However, the management took the step in the face of dwindling resources and increasing responsibilities.
“Kudos to the Lagos State Government, the owners of the university, the N25,000 was probably the lowest in any state university. I am hopeful that the matter will be resolved amicably soon,” he said.
Recall that during the administration of the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, SAN, some steps were taken to beef up the revenue of the university.
Apart from the increase in tuition fee for incoming students, it also introduced a second stream of admission for students.
Under that scheme, students pay N150,000 as tuition fee to combine entrepreneurship studies with their regular courses.
They will take entrepreneur courses in any area of their choice and be certificated in them apart from their regular academic progammes.
Because the scheme is optional, the students leadership is not opposed to that since it it not made compulsory and generally suits older students.
Meanwhile, the state government has met the demands of teaching and non-teaching staff of the institution over the payment of the end-of-the-year bonus, minimum wage arrears among others.
The workers would have abandoned their duty posts from Monday, January 18, 2021.
The union leaders had written a letter titled: RE: JAC’s position on end-of-the-year bonus and other benefits,” directed to the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oyedamola Oke, the workers said the intervention of Oke led them to stop their planned strike.
The letter was signed Dr Ibrahim Bakare, the Branch Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, his Secretary, Dr Sylvester Idowu; Comrade Oseni Adewale Saheed, the Branch Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, and his Secretary, Comrade Awoyemi Bola, the Branch Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Allied Institution, NASU, Comrade Sanni Moruf Ige and his Secretary, Comrade Akapo Ibikunle. The unions acted under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee of ASUU, SSANU and NASU. It was gathered that the state government acceded to the demands of the workers and reached an amicable settlement of the issue.