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Nigerian Students’ Union, NANS, Gives Governor Akeredolu 14 Days To Reduce Tuition In Ondo Tertiary Schools

February 14, 2022

The students' group said they had met with the government and its representatives and that all their demands to have the tuition reduced were being turned down.

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Joint Campus Committee (JCC) in Ondo State has given Governor Rotimi Akeredolu a 14-day ultimatum to reverse the increment in the tuition of public tertiary institutions in the state.


The students' group said they had met with the government and its representatives and that all their demands to have the tuition reduced were being turned down.


Addressing journalists in Akure on Monday, the NANS JCC President, Comrade Surprise Omotosho, condemned the hike in the tuition of tertiary institutions owned by the state government, saying it has economically affected students and parents.


Omotosho explained that the increment had already widened the gap between children of the rich, and their colleagues from poor homes, who are attending public schools in the state.


According to him, the Akeredolu-led government has destroyed education in the state by starving the public tertiary schools of their subventions while the lecturers are also being owed salaries.


He also expressed concern that the hike in tuition, most especially at the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, was coming at a time when the state government owed civil servants a backlog of salaries and arrears.


He lamented that many students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA) have dropped out of school since their parents could not afford the tuition.


He said, "It saddens my heart to inform you that tertiary education has been taken away from the reach of indigent citizens of the State. Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin, the first Governor of Ondo State knew the importance of education when he championed free, fair and quality education.


"This legacy was sustainable until the arrival of the incumbent administration and their shocking belief that education is not meant for the poor.


"The systemic destruction of Ondo State education legacy by the incumbent administration is not only shocking but condemnable. While schools are starved of subvention, our government (officials) serenade themselves to a luxurious lifestyle and urge schools to look inward for revenue.


"One wonders if truly the administration is recouping what it spent to acquire the exalted office. Daily, we watch helplessly as our colleagues drop out of school and others resort to self-help.


"To worsen the situation, the State's irregular payment of salaries has turned our education system into what we Yoruba call ‘àbíkú’.


"Our lecturers are owed a substantial amount of salaries. Some haven't been paid for the past 6-7 months.


"How do they want these lecturers to feed or remain incorruptible when they are not paid? One of the reasons the government gave for increasing tuition was that quality education is not cheap.


"But sadly, the standard of education on our campuses is dwindling daily with our lecturers preoccupied with how to manage and fend for their families. Our education is secondary to them. Is it not funny that while AAUA students paid ₦25,000 as tuition, its law students boss the law school but the reverse is the case now? Yes, the country's economy is in trouble but taking education out of the reach of citizens is a ticking time bomb.


"Conclusively, we urge the Ondo State Government to as a matter of urgency see to the reversal in the tuition of schools across the state and we are giving them two weeks ultimatum to meet our demand else we embark on confrontation.


"Not many families in a predominantly civil servant State like Ondo can afford ₦2 million per session. Except the government is encouraging massive large-scale corruption.


"We don't see how civil servants owed months of salary can pay such a huge amount? Now, no civil servant can afford N25,000 shoes.”