Connect with us

News

Parents Groan As Institutions Hike Fees By Over 100 Percent

Published

on

Last Updated on January 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Most tertiary institutions in the country have hiked their fees by over 150 %, putting serious strains on the finances of parents and guardians who also have to contend with the poor state of the economy which has reduced purchasing power and savings.

Checks by Vanguard Learning in public universities across the country show that the increment in obligatory fees, which started late last year is continuing, as a new session starts in some schools this January.

Only on January 6, this year, for instance, the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, Ondo State came out with a proposal to hike fees by over 100%.

In the proposal, which is still being debated and worked on by the management and other stakeholders such as students and parents, fresh students are to pay N240,500, 200 level students N131,000, 300 level students N136,000, 400 level students N131,000 and final year students N127,500.

To show the steepness in the hike, four years ago, final year students paid only N13, 000 and even last year, when there was also an increase, they only paid N37,000 and may now pay N127,500.

Situations on some campuses

At the University of Jos, UNIJOS, charges were increased by over 100% because before now, students were paying N45,000, but this year, they are to pay between N95,000 and N160,000 depending on the department.

At the Plateau State University, PLASU, Bokkos, tuition fees are paid based on indigene and non-indigene factors.

The increment has also exceeded 100% as returning indigenous students who were paying N36,000 as tuition fees without other charges will now pay N80,000 without other charges, while the non-indigenes who were paying about N55,000 without other charges will now pay over N100,000 without other charges.

At the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Akwa Ibom State, there has been a gradual increase in tuition fees in the last couple of years that reflects from the first year of admission in such a manner that students pay different fees for the same course of study at different levels.

A female Microbiology student, simply identified as Glory, told Vanguard Learning that she paid N105,750 as a fresher, just starting her 100 Level, but her counterparts in the Arts pay about N75,000.

Malta, a 300-level Arts student, paid N47,000 when she was admitted into the school three years ago. In the current semester, she is made to maintain the same tuition fee while new intakes are made to pay as high as N75,000.

A 200-level male student of Political Science said he paid a little above N60,000 in his first year of admission.

“This new session, I have not gone to pay, but I heard there is a little drop from what I paid in 100 Level. From what I have learnt, you are meant to maintain what you paid in your first year. Not everyone is affected by new tuition”, he said.”

At the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, returning students, who were expecting to pay N65,000, were slammed with N180,000 fee, while fresh students are to pay N240,000 aside from other fees.

At the University of Lagos, UNILAG, after much protest by students, students were asked to pay between N126,325 and N176,325 depending on the course of study.

At the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Osun State, the management eventually reduced fees to N131,000 for students in Humanities, N141,000 for science and N164,000 for Medicine, Pharmacy and related faculties.

The story is the same at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Bayero University, Kano, Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, University of Nigeria, Nsukka among others.

The universities were previously charging as low as N25, 000 a few years ago.

Universities’ reactions
The Vice Chancellor, University of Benin, UNIBEN, Prof. Lilian Salami, who is also the chairperson of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, recently led other VCs to submit a position paper of the group to the federal government on how to go about funding the system and handle the issue of hike in fees.

It was learnt that the team put the cost of training an undergraduate for a year at between N500,000 and N1 million excluding books, feeding and other sundry charges. The government is still stating it operates a free tuition system in those schools.

The VC, UNILAG, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, at the peak of the protest against the increase in obligatory fees, said the issue is about providing sound education for young Nigerians.

“We all know the reality of the situation in the country now. Students have been paying about N20, 000 for over a decade now and can that be sustained in the present circumstance? People are complaining now because the government did not allow the universities to effect any increment, no matter how small for so many years. Look at the cost of running the hostels and even maintaining them. What about the cost of electricity and power? The costs are not static and the subvention to universities is not matching the costs. Remember, tuition is still free,” she said.

The spokesman for UNIJOS, Abdullahi Abdullahi, said, “We don’t pay tuition but school charges, before, it was N45,000 but right now, every department has different charges based on the services they provide. For returning students, it ranges from N95,000 to N130,000 but for the new students, it ranges from N130,000 to N160,000 or so. There are laboratory charges and other sundry charges.”

TASUED Registrar, Chief Dapo Oke, said, “In the entire Southwest, which state university is charging as low as N100,000? We have been collecting N65,000, when some secondary school children pay N100,000 per term and there are three terms in a year. But our university students are paying as low as N65,000 for a whole year. Is that enough to buy laboratory equipment, to pay staff salaries or to run on diesel 24 hours?

“These are issues that necessitated the increase, and before we made the increase, we discussed it with the Student Union Government. We’ve made them realise it, but they would still make their complaints. We will listen to their complaints; we will inform the government. At the end of the day, we will conclude,” he said.

Oke maintained that TASUED could not afford to run inferior academic programmes, compared to what obtains in other universities.

“So, we have to charge economic fees. What we have charged is the barest minimum in reality with the existing market forces,” he said.

A source in FUTA, who craved anonymity told our correspondent that, “The University has inbuilt mechanism within the system to look into and build consensus on matters affecting students including charges. And that mechanism is working on this matter and consensus will be achieved.

Fees are mainly for student-related services which are sourced from the economy. And the costs of such goods and services provided by the university for the students will certainly be impacted by costs of good and services in the economy.”

Parents and students’ reactions

The National President of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, said it waa unfortunate that parents and guardians have been burdened with increment in fees at this point in time.

“We all know what the economic situation in the country is. Things are expensive, the purchasing power of the people greatly reduced. In fact, most people cannot save anything from their incomes, as the incomes are not enough to sustain their families.

“With these fee increases here and there, many students will be forced to drop out. We are not in support of the increment. We have made our position known to the government and the Minister of Education promised that a government team will meet with us and other stakeholders, we are still waiting for them to call us for that meeting, “ he stated.

Mrs. Esther Danlami, whose child is at UNIJOS, noted, “Since the increment, it has not been easy for us. My husband is a retiree, I am a Primary School Teacher and we have three children in the university. With the current economic situation, we are in a very dire situation.”

Reacting to the gale of fee increment across the country, even after the FG said the schools should put that on hold, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has condemned the proposed tuition fee increases by the management of the Federal University of Technology, Akure and the Federal College of Agriculture, also in Akure, Ondo State.

According to the Senate President of NANS, Comrade Akinteye Afeez, the development is unacceptable and could lead to students mobilising across the country to protest the development.

“The leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) issues this stern statement to the Federal Government of Nigeria, demanding immediate intervention in the looming crisis surrounding tuition fee increment across educational institutions in the country.

“We, the leadership of NANS, stand united and resolute in our commitment to protecting the rights and interests of Nigerian students.

To this end, the recent proposals for tuition fee increases, notably from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), and Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), are unequivocally rejected.

“It is disheartening and worrisome that despite the Federal Government’s explicit instructions against tuition fee hikes, certain Vice Chancellors and heads of institutions seem poised to defy these directives.

“This we find barbaric, therefore, we declare that if these institutions persist in their disregard for the government’s stance, NANS will mobilize Nigerian students nationwide to stage a relentless protest, stampede, and shut down the country until our demands are met.

“We emphasize that the implementation of the new budget for education is closely monitored by NANS, and any attempt to burden students with additional financial strain will be met with fierce resistance. Education is a right, not a privilege, and we will not tolerate any infringement upon the accessibility of quality education for the Nigerian student.

“Education is not a privilege reserved for a select few; it is an inalienable right that must be made available to every Nigerian, especially the common man. The proposed tuition fee hikes, as put forth by institutions like the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), and Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), threaten to erode this fundamental right and push education beyond the reach of many.

“NANS vehemently rejects any policy that jeopardizes the accessibility of education to the common man. The negative effects of these tuition fee increments are far-reaching and have severe implications for our nation’s future.

“As fees skyrocket, many students, burdened by financial strain, will be forced to abandon their education. This tragic consequence will not only deprive countless individuals of their right to learn but will also exacerbate unemployment rates and drive some into criminal activities as a desperate means of survival.”

News

Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour

Published

on

The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

Published

on

The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending