Students of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, have kicked at a recent hike in tuition fees by the institution’s management, demanding a reversal to the old fees within two weeks beginning from last Friday, January 8.
The students said they had been gravely disturbed over the hike in fees, and so had been engaging all relevant authorities in and outside the university for intervention on the issue, but said their efforts had not yielded positive results.
They listed the management team of the immediate past vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun who left the office on Monday, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr Wahab Tokunbo and the Chairman, Lagos House Committee on Education, Mr Olayinka Ogundimu, among other authorities, whose intervention they had sought on the matter.
The university had, on Friday, December 11, announced hike in its tuition fees from N25, 000 to N67, 048.50 per student annually (representing 168 per cent increment), applicable to only fresh students and those to be admitted subsequently.
However, the students under the aegis of the Students’ Union Government in a statement signed by their President, AbdulBasit Ashade and the Public Relations Officer, Zeenab Adams, said the union was primarily concerned about the welfare of members, and so would continue to advocate same in a peaceful manner.
The students said they were concerned about the economic pressure the fees hike would have on parents, guardians and the students themselves, especially in the face of the economic hardship brought about by COVID-19 pandemic, which they said Nigerians are still contending with.
They threatened that the union would stop at nothing to ensure a review of the hike in tuition fees, saying, “We must be sensitive not to compound the burden on indigenes and residents of Lagos State.”
The students said the primary purpose of establishing LASU was to impact and impart value to indigenes and residents of the state for a better Lagos, adding that the authorities should therefore reverse the hike in fees within 14 days from last Friday, January 8.
“Payment of school fees by newly admitted students should be suspended and the portal for payment closed until a resolution is jointly reached by all parties concerned.
Reacting, the school management said the university had no option than to increase the fees as it had done because of what it called the increasing huge financial responsibilities before it.
The university’s spokesman, Mr Ademola Adekoya, in a statement insisted that the increment was a decision jointly taken by all the stakeholders in the university, including the students and various staff unions.
He said the increment was applicable only to newly admitted students for the 2020/2021 and those that would come after them.
He said the increment became necessary in order to meet the increasing financial obligations, which he said would further lead to progress