T THEederal Government has warned that it will not treat lightly any institution found to violate directive on reduction of levies and fees charged students and candidates at various levels in the country.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who gave the warning in Abuja insisted that it is a deliberate policy of the current administration to reduce the levies in schools and examination fees to reduce the burden on parents and guardians.
Adamu noted that when he came on board as minister, he noticed that a number of fees and levies at the major impediments to access to tertiary education secondary school level had constituted.
He disclosed that some of these fees and levies including the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (post-UTME) fees that got to as high as N15,000 in some universities, the National Examination Council (NECO) and West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) fees also rose astronomically.
He said this prompted many state governments to take over the payment of these fees to enable their students register for these examinations.
Adamu said: “You all can testify that we have reduced Post-UTME from N15,000 to N2,000, JAMB from N5,000 to N3,000, NECO from N11,500 to N9,850 and the Basic Education Certificate handled by NECO from N5,500 to N4,000.
“Let me emphasize that it is important for stakeholders to abide by these charges as stipulated. Violations will not be treated lightly.”
Adamu added that apart from representing a show of transparency, accountability and prudent management of resources, these reductions would no doubt reduce the financial burden on parents and increase access to those who may not have been able to afford the charges if they had remained unchanged.
He said: “I informed you earlier that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari spent a total of N10 billion in 2018 on scholarship awards. For the four-year period, this administration has spent a total of about N15 billion on scholarship awards.
“Apart, from promoting excellence in academic pursuit, the scholarship scheme is also targeted at the poor, who, though academically sound, may not be able to foot the bill. To this class of students, the scholarship scheme guarantees them access.”
The minister further disclosed that government through Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) also supported institution-based research to the tune of N7,593,532,154.22 in the last three years as part of efforts to improve on education delivery in the country.
He minister added that academic research Journals got intervention amounting to N178,316,051.24.