The national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Emmanuel Osodeke, has urged the federal government to review the hike in fees in its schools.
He urged the government to do so and find a safe landing for the nation’s future leaders.
Mr Osodeke was speaking against the backdrop of the recent hike in fees of unity colleges and some first-generation public tertiary institutions in the country.
He told journalists in an interview on Sunday in Lagos that the hike in fees could be counterproductive.
The University of Lagos had announced a 400 per cent adjustment in the obligatory fees for both returning and new students of the institution, with effect from September 1 for the 2023/2024 academic session.
A further breakdown of the approved mandatory charges for one academic year for returning students showed N100,750 for courses without a laboratory and studio, while approved mandatory charges for courses with a laboratory and studio was N140,250.
According to the university, the review came after careful deliberations with its stakeholders (students, parents/guardians, staff unions, and alumni, among others).
But Mr Osodeke said the best way out to issues was to adopt a holistic approach, noting that policies should be people-centred.
He disclosed that Bayero University Kano, Benin and Abuja, among others, also announced hikes in tuition while worrying that students may further drop out of school and engage in social vices following the current economic hardship.
“We hope the current administration will review the whole situation and find a safe landing for these our future leaders.
‘Government could set up a high-powered commission, made up of people of integrity and brain, to review all the issues as it concerns the country’s education sector. And like I said, it has been done in the past,” the unionist said.
Also reacting, one of the students of the institution who pleaded anonymity called on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on President Bola Tinubu to urgently intervene in the situation.
The 400-level student of the Faculty of Engineering told reporters that the hike in fees could mean the end of his academic pursuit as he was responsible for his education.
“Even before now, it has not been easy. With the current increase, what do I do, where do I start from, and who do I run to? Should I just allow all I have been able to achieve getting to this level to go down the drain? I may not be able to stand this,” he said.
A prospective student, who gave her name simply as Mercy, said her parents already had second thoughts concerning her joining the institution following the increased fees.
We have recently deactivated our website’s comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.