Saraki's aide flays FG over alleged plan to hike varsity tuition fees

Date: 2018-10-15

The Federal Government alleged plan to hike tuition fees payable in public Universities has attracted condemnation.

The Director, Media and Publicity, Abubakar Bukola Saraki Mandate Constituency Office, Alhaji Abdullahi Oganija, described the plan as ill-conceived and an attempt to deprive potential students from humble background right to quality education as constitutionally guaranteed.

He said no responsible government would think of denying its citizens standard education let alone astronomically increase tuition fees.

Oganija, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), told Journalists in Ilorin that many Nigerians have had to contend with harsh economic condition foisted on them by the government at the centre and turning around to further complicate their problems would be most unacceptable.

The Zonal Coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) Ibadan Zone, Dr Ade Adejumo, recently raised an alarm that the Federal Government was planning to increase tuition fees to a minimum of N350,000.

However, ABS Mandate Constituency Office Director said the government led by All Progressives Congress (APC) had shown every right thinking Nigerian that its time was up and it would be unfortunate if allowed to continue beyond 2019.

Oganija warned the government against any decision that would impoverish the more the less privileged in the society, saying government can only be entrusted with the mandate of the people to cater for their welfare and improve their standard of living.

"Since the alarm raised on the plan to hike tuition fees in public universities, we have become worried as stakeholders in the Nigerian project that this is another attempt to subject citizens to further hardship. This plan, if it is true as reported, is commendable.

"Our belief is that no responsible government would take such callous and heinous decision. As far as we are concerned, this decision is a recipe to perdition for government that has failed in its responsibility to improve on the standard of living of our people and reinvigorate the economy", Oganija said.

He urged the citizens and particularly stakeholders in the education sector to rise against the planned hike in tuition fees in public owned universities.

The Zonal Coordinator of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) Ibadan Zone, Dr Ade Adejumo has raised an alarm that the Federal Government of Nigeria is planning to increase a minimum of N350,000.

Adejumo while addressing journalists on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, in Ibadan said the government is making attempts to make students of federal universities pay a minimum of N350,000 as tuition fee.

According to Punch, the union's zonal coordinator said it was vital for ASUU to let the public know that there could be labour crisis in federal universities, adding that the proposal led to the breakdown of the 2017/2018 renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.

"The union is again constrained to draw the attention of Nigerian public to an impending labour crisis in the Nigerian universities as a result of the insensitivity of the Nigerian government to issues critical to the survival of the educational system in Nigeria.

"It is no longer news that the renegotiation, which Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, promised was going to last for only six weeks, has broken down.

"The union was confronted with a situation where the government is bent on imposing tuition fees, beginning from N350,000, on students in the Nigerian public owned tertiary institutions.

"As to how the students will raise such money, we were told that the government will establish Education Bank, where students will access credit facilities and payback on completion of their studies

"The union, speaking from the background that education is the right and not the privilege of every Nigerian child, made frantic efforts to make pragmatic explanations on the negative implications and the non-feasibility of this scheme to representatives of government to no avail."

ASUU rejected the proposed tuition fees Meanwhile, Prof. Lawan Abubakar , the Bauchi Zonal Coordinator of ASUU recently said the union rejected the proposal by the Federal Government negotiator to increase tuition fee in public universities.

He said the negotiator between ASUU and the Federal Government, Dr Wale Babalakin proposed that public universities tuition fee be increased to N350,000 for undergraduate students of Arts and Humanities and 500,000 for those in Sciences.

He, however, said the union rejected the proposal on the ground that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly states that funding education is the sole responsibility of Governments at various levels and not parents".



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