Reps task Buhari to abolish acceptance fees in tertiary institutions

The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, called on Federal Government to abolish the payment of acceptance fees into all Tertiary Institutions across the country without further delay.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon Chinedu Martins at the plenary, who frowned at the level of extortion of millions of Nigerians seeking admission into both public and private tertiary institutions on a yearly basis.

According to him, the recent data from the National Universities Commission showed that only about 2 million were enrolled in the universities nationwide out of a population of over 180 million.

The lawmaker who called for the House intervention observed that the estimates represented one per cent of the population which was an indication of the low attendance in tertiary institutions compared to other advanced countries.

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He also cited additional data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board showed that out of the 10 million applicants that sought admissions into tertiary institutions, only 26 per cent gained admissions between 2010 and 2015.

He said it was an indication that about 75 percent of the applicants failed to gain admissions every year and also reinforced that access to tertiary education in the country was low.

“The House is concerned that one of the factors contributing to poor access to tertiary education is the predatory admission policies being enforced by tertiary institutions, particularly the requirement for payment of non-refundable acceptance fees as condition precedent for admissions.

“The House is also concerned that many federally operated tertiary institutions charge as much as N30, 000 per student, while some States and private institutions charge significantly more, as evidenced in the following: University of Ibadan, N35,000; University of Lagos, N20,000; Ahmadu Bello University, N30,000; Imo State University, N70,000; and Lagos State University, N20,000.

“The House is further concerned that applicants are expected to pay the acceptance fees within a short deadline despite having gone through the tortuous process of paying and sitting for the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) and making the cut off mark; and if they are unable to meet the deadline, the applicants are surcharged for late payment with the risk of losing the offer of admissions.”

To this end, the House mandated the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to investigate the admission policies and practices of tertiary institutions in the country for further legislative action.

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