THE Nigerian government has explained that federal universities in the country are still tuition-free
The Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications, and Strategy to the President, Dele Alake, made the clarification in a statement released on Wednesday, July 26.
According to Alake, what is commonly referred to as tuition fees are actually optional fees assessed by each university for services, including lab use, registration, and hostel lodging.
He added that the Students’ Loans Scheme, which is part of the Student Loans Bill that President Bola Tinubu signed into law last month, would be implemented before the start of the next academic year in September.
Alake further disclosed that the Federal Government would provide additional support for needy students.
He described as inaccurate, reports that the Federal Government has increased tuition fees in federal universities in the country.
“We are aware that some universities have in recent weeks announced increase in the amount payable by students on sundry charges.
“However, the fact remains, and we have confirmed that these are discretionary charges by each university for hostel accommodation, registration, laboratory and other charges. They are not tuition fees,” Alake
He said authorities of these universities made this fact clear enough in explaining the rationale behind the new fees.
“For avoidance of doubts, federal universities in Nigeria remain tuition-free. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains committed to his promise of ensuring that every Nigerian, regardless of the economic situation of their parents, have access to quality tertiary education,” he added.
Alake stated that the government’s plans include work-study, merit-based scholarships, and grants in order to ensure that all devout students complete their education on time, regardless of their parent’s financial status.
Recently, the National Association of University Students (NAUS)1 threatened to embark on a mass protest over the recent hike in tuition in tertiary institutions.
This was disclosed in a statement on Saturday, July 22, titled, ‘Warning Against Tuition Fee Increment’, signed by both the NAUS chairman and national deputy president, Eruobami Ayobami and Babalola Daniel, respectively.
The association warned that any legislation enacting tuition increases in higher institutions would be met with immediate protests from the student population.
NAUS advised the various higher educational institutions to rethink their plans to raise tuition, as doing so would harm the academic system and students.
The ICIR reports that the management of the University of Lagos, Lagos State, has increased fees for undergraduate students in the institution.
The university management explained its decision to hike tuition for new and returning undergraduate students in statement it issued via the institution’s website on Friday, July 21.]
It attributed the development to what it described as the “prevailing economic realities and needs” to meet its obligations to students and staff.
The statement noted that the adjustment would take effect from the first semester of the 2023/2024 academic session.
The students of the institution had been paying N19,000, but the management has fixed new fees at N190,250 for students studying Medicine, while for courses that require laboratory and studio, students are to pay N140,250.
Additionally, the Federal government has increased tuition for new students at Federal government colleges, also known as Federal Unity Colleges, through the Ministry of Education, to ₦100,000.
The fee increase was announced in a circular titled, ‘Approved Fees/ Charges for Federal Unity Colleges (1st Term) for new students’, signed by the Director of Senior Secondary Education, Hajia Binta Abdulkadir.
According to the statement, new students are expected to pay ₦100,000 instead of the old N45,000.
The increment generated public outcry as many criticised the action amid the effect of fuel subsidy removal.
A reporter with the ICIR
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