***urge FG intervention
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
Parents who have their wards in the Federal University Lokoja (FUL) have called on the federal government to prevail on the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi to reverse the over 300 percent hike in the tuition fees.
Mr Moses Abraham, spokesperson of the parents who trooped out to NUJ Press Centre on Tuesday in Lokoja, told newsmen that the Management of the institution did not take due cognizance of the current economic situation in the country to effect the hike.
“The Vice Chancellor is a civil servant and we expected that he should be aware of the current economic doldrum the people of this country are passing through recently.
The Parents decried the almost 300 per cent “arbitrary” increase in tuition fees newly introduced by the management of the institution.
Abraham said the parents would soon take to the streets in protest as they swore to continue until the management of the university reversed itself over the increment.
He said the increment in school fees, which is almost 300 percent, was aimed at denying indigent Nigerian masses and their children the opportunity to get university education.
According to Abraham, remedial courses which had N50,000 tuition are now N100,000 while fees for fresh undergraduates intake which, formerly N56,000, is now N188,500.
“The fees for new intake Art/Social Sciences hitherto N55,000 has been increased to N183,500 just as returning students are expected to pay N113,000 against the former fees of N47,000.
“Student accommodation per bed space which was charged for N20,000 before has been hiked by the Vice Chancellor to N60,000 while the GST handbook sold to students at N1,500 per copy now N6,500”, he said.
“We therefore call on the Federal Government through the Minister of Education, to prevail on the Vice Chancellor to reverse the hike in the fees before he collapse the only Federal University in Kogi state.
“How can people pay their children’s school fees with the current increment when sources of income remain stagnant?” he queried.
Another parent who expressed her feelings over the hike in fees, Mrs Florence Anachebi said, “When the Federal Government established the university few years ago we were happy.
“But the current Vice Chancellor wants to deny us the opportunity to train our children because since he came he has virtually increased all charges and now the school fees”.
Reacting to the development, the Public Relation Officer of the university, Mr Daniel Ikechukwu said the increase was yet to be made official though it has already reflected on the school portal.
“It is important for parents, students and the public to give us benefit of the doubt and be patient before the official release of any document to that effect before any body can complain”, he said. (Ends)