Protest: No increase in tuition fee ― Ondo govt

...Students vow to continue protest

Students of the Ondo state-owned tertiary institution resumed their protest on Thursday, calling on the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, to reverse the hike in the fee of the institutions or resign from his position.

The students who promised to continue with the protest until the state government attend to their plight, blocked all the major road in the state capital, during their third-day protest and vowed to resist any intimidation from the security operatives.

This is just as the state government denied introducing a new increase in the school fee in any of its higher institutions in the state, saying the state government is aware of the economic situation in the country and would not add to the plight of the citizen of the state.

The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi, said the there was no increase in the school fees of the students after the last year review and said there was no move by the government to increase the fees.

According to him, the state governor, Akeredolu and some stakeholders met some 18months ago to review downward the school fees of the students where it was collectively agreed that the students should pay between 80,000 and N150,000 per session, while the students are allowed to pay twice.

He said “reports indicated that students from the state tertiary institutions are protesting because of hike in tuition fee in our tertiary institutions, this is far from the truth because there has not been any increase in tuition fee in any of our tertiary institution.

“You recall that about a year ago, the governing council of the University of AAUA led by Dr Tunji Abayomi reviewed the school fees in Akungba and the students took to the streets for days and the governor was not in town at that time and the moment he returned, he called a meeting of all stakeholders, comprising members of the governing council student union leaders from the zone and national leadership of the students union were all in the meeting.

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“The governor pleaded with the governing council at the meeting to review this school fees downward and not just that, he pleaded for the students to pay twice.

“For instance those who are paying N50,000 per session, you are allowed to pay N25,000 per semester in a bid to make it easy for the parents of these students to pay their school fees.”

Olowolabi disclosed that “the highest school fees payable in all our institutions is N150,000, it ranges between N80,000 and N150,000. Those studying laws and sciences are the ones paying N150,000 but those in Humanities are paying about N80,000 or a little above.

“At that meeting, all the parties agreed that the fees should be reviewed and they were given the opportunity to pay twice and the move was applauded by all the stakeholders.

He, however, queried the motive behind the students protest, saying “is it not curious that barely a year and a half later that the students are protesting as if there is a new increase in the fee recently?

“It looks more than students protest but looks like a move being sponsored by some people. It is apparent that the students rank had been infiltrated”

Similarly, the management of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, (AAUA) has described the alleged increase in tuition fee of the school as wicked and malicious lies being peddled against the Institution by some unscrupulous elements.

In a statement signed by the Acting Registrar, Mr. Opeoluwa Akinfemiwa, who stated that there was no new increase of school fees in AAUA while the current school fees in AAUA range between N80,000 and N150,000 and the students are allowed to pay between N40,000 and N75,000 per semester.

He said “those circulating the lies and alleging that Adekunle Ajasin University has, once again, increased fees payable in the institution. Specifically, they are saying that school fees have been raised to N250,000 per session.

“While we do not want to speculate on why they are toeing this path of lies and infamy, Management wishes to state firmly and unequivocally that:

“The demand during the recent protest of students was for the University to allow those who have not paid their school fees to write tests/examinations while they pay their school fees later.

“Parents and Guardians are advised to ensure that their children and wards pay their school fees without delay, especially since they have the option of paying twice over two semesters.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the schedule of school fees charged in AAUA, with effect from April 2018 range between N80,000 and N150,000 per year, depending on course or level of study.

“The above figures were negotiated with relevant stakeholders, including the students and their parents, and finalized in April last year.

He said further “It is instructive to note that almost a session has passed since then and students have paid without any issue.

“It is, therefore, surprising that some people are now coming up with the issue of reduction in school fees – an issue that was negotiated, agreed upon and finalized in 2018, a period of over a year ago

“Management is hereby urging members of the public to note that the school fees payable in Adekunle Ajasin University remain as negotiated with the students since April last year.

“All lies, insinuations, and rumours contrary to the above-stated facts should be ignored and discountenanced.”