Reps halt fees hike in UNIMAID
⦁ To probe increment
The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Management of the University of Maiduguri to stay action on the increment in is tuition fees until a thorough investigation is carried out on the matter.
This followed the adoption of a motion moved by under Matters of Urgent Public Importance by the member representing Monguno/Marte/Nganzi federal constituency of Borno state, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, who declared that the hike would force many students out of school.
The lawmaker who lamented that the increase was arbitrary and would discourage Nigerians especially people of the North East from going to school urged the House intervention on behalf of the students.
According to him: “The House received with deep concern the recent decision by the management of University of Maiduguri to increase the registration and other fees of students of the school from 40% to 400% in certain instances as strategically regrettable and unhelpful in the face of the plight of the people of the northeast as a whole. An example is an increase from 25,000 to N129,000 as bench charges and other fees for some students.
“Note that irrespective of justification that may be attached to this decision due to maybe the peculiar operational and managerial realities of the school, the decision is one that must worry every well-meaning Nigerian at this time.
“Observe that education remains the biggest repellent and the most potent tool in our arsenal as a people to not only defeat Boko Haram for good but also revamp the north-east from the shackles of underdevelopment and poverty
“Acknowledge the prime place the University of Maiduguri holds in this regards, is invaluable in the north-east in particular and to entire northern Nigeria and Nigeria in general.
“Further acknowledge the courage and determination of the University Management by being steadfast in the provision of an excellent academic environment and without shutting its campus in the face of severe threats during the heightened activity of the insurgency begs the case that this decision is reviewed.
“Aware that with the over 14 million Nigerian children of school age, not in school, and of these numbers not attending school, 62 per cent live in northern Nigeria. Half of the men in northeast Nigeria have received no education at all, and this figure rises to over 61 per cent for women, it is imperative that school in the northeast remains of strategic national interest with overwhelming national security importance
“Consider the fact that Borno state had the highest number of people that don’t have access to education due to the present Boko Haram crisis, in particular, more than enough reason to ensure that the least burden for access and viability of education as a fundamental privilege is ensured as far as possible especially for University of Maiduguri
“Observe that all stakeholders must rise to the occasion at this moment to ensure that this state of affairs is reversed due to the greater need to propagate the right value of tolerance, liberalism, multiculturalism, and self-empowerment through education at the highest levels.
“Note that to allow this decision to stand would be to further push the entire people of Borno state and the northeast further into the state of utter despair, having been beaten away from their farms, their lands, their fishing activity and where most have lost their livelihood due to the absence of an economy. This would narrow their choices and amplify the appeal towards those against education, therefore, deepening the gulf and the impact of the insurgency
“Aware that a lot of students especially those from Borno state and north-east states will drop out should this decision see the light of day. This situation may force them to become a social menace to society.”
Contributing to the motion, some members decried the incessant and arbitrary hikes in tuition fees by Nigerian higher institutions.
They argued that the development would discourage many parents from sending their wards to schools in light of the economic situations in the country.
The motion when subjected voice vote received the unanimous support of the members.
Adopting it, the House mandated its Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to engage the management of the university to stay action on the increment to enable it to carry out its investigation on the matter in a bid to finding a lasting solution.