By Dayo Adesulu
Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has reiterated its decision to halt the increment of tuition fees in our public universities, adding that there are no justifiable reasons for it.It however lamented that institutions that are tempted to increase fees under any guise do so to survive lack of funding by government.ASUU-UNILAG Chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru who spoke with Vanguard said: ”There can be no justifiable reasons for universities to hike fees in a country where since 1999 till date government spent N1.3trillion of public money in bailing out failed banks.Only last month, the government of this country spent N800 billion to bail out Skye Bank in the new metamorphosis they call Polaris Bank, he said”.
Just a few weeks ago, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education denied hiking tuition to N350,000 in public universities . In defiance, the University of Ilorin has gone ahead to hike its tuition fee by over 100 per cent.Just as in the days of UNILORIN/ASUU feud when it undermined ASUU and went ahead to operate its own unionism, it has set the pace for other institutions. However, stakeholders rightly observe that other institutions would follow suit.At UNILORIN, it was reported that the tuition increment will take effect from 2018/2019 academic session. The institution claimed that the increment is just marginal and necessitated by the current economic reality but still below those of other universities.
Recall that in August 2018, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology increased its tuition from N100,000 to N300,000.Similarly, in April 2018, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, AAUA, Akoko, also increased tuition fee from N25, 000 to N200,000.It was stated that while fresh students in the faculties of Arts and Education were to pay N150,000, returning students were to pay N120,000. For faculties of Science, Agric, Social and Management Sciences, fresh students would pay N180, 000, returning students are to pay N150, 000. This was just as Faculty of Law fresh students are to pay N200,000 and returning students, N150, 000. The initiative was however resisted by parents and other stakeholders.
In 2017, no fewer than 38 universities across the country increased their tuition fees as a result of poor funding by federal and state governments. According to ASUU, studennts of University of Lagos, UNILAG, who were paying N14,500 would now pay N63, 500 as tuition fees. Others that increased their fees include, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), from N27,000 to N41,000; University of Nigeria (UNN), from N60,450 to N66,950; Obafemi Awolowo University, from N19,700 to N55,700, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), from N20,100 to N65,920; Bayero University, Kano, from N26,000 to N40,000; University of Abuja, from N39,300 to N42,300 and Usman Danfodiyo University, from N32,000 to N41,000.National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), from N36,000 to N41,000; University of Benin (UNIBEN), from N12, 000 to N49,500; University of Ilorin, from N16, 000 to N75,000 and Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), from N13, 560 to N83,940. The list also indicated that Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMINNA), increased tuition fees from N20,000 to N37,000; University of Calabar, from N30,500 to N42,750 and University of Uyo, from N71, 000 to N84, 250.Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, from N16,000 to N40,000; Osun State University, from N95,000 to N135,500; Anambra State University, from N76,000 to N139, 000 and Lagos State University, from N96,750 to N158,250.
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, from N25,000 to N52,000; Imo State University, from N120,000 to N150,000; Plateau State University, from N50,000 to N100,000 and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, from N57,000 to N75,000. The Polytechnic Ibadan , from N30,000 to N50,000; Abia Polytechnic, from N56,550 to N61,000; Auchi Polytechnic, from N14, 800 to N28,000 and Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, from N70,000 to N80,000.Enugu State University of Science and Technology, N104,900 to N124,900; Kwara Polytechnic, Ilorin, from N28,000 to N44,000; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), from N65,000 to N72,500 and Tai Solarin University of Education, from N66,500 to N76,500.Afe Babalola University, from N675,000 to N1,075,000; Igbinedion University, from N540,000 to N820,000; Crawford University, from N400,000 to N600,000 and Redeemers University, from N545,000 to N605,000. Covenant University, from N774, 500 to N814, 500 and Benson Idahosa University, from N284, 300 to N1, 150,000.
You will recall in October, the Ministry of Education through its permanent secretary, Mr Sonny Echono debunked the claims that the Federal Government was planning to increase tuition fees of Federal Universities to N350,000. However, the increment is progressing in a subtle way and without the Federal Ministry of Education restraining them. In his reaction, the President, National Union of Nigerian Students, NUNS, Amb Salahudeen Lukman said: “Poor funding of universities has resulted in universities pushing to increase their fees. Of recent, tuition fees at University of Ilorin has increased by 120% and LAUTECH by 160% just to mention a few. Authorities of Nigerian universities are now pushing hard to boost their IGR since the government has not provided good funding. Nigerian students risk dropping out as tuition fees continue to increase exponentially and our parent are owed salaries, accommodation is another great challenge student face on campus most especially in institutions in the South east and South south of the country”.