No fewer than 38 universities across the country have increased their tuition fees as a result of poor funding by the federal and state governments. Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, University of Ibadan Chapter, Dr Deji Omole, made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.
The statement which assessed the two years of President Muhammadu Buhari in office, lamented that the current government had made Nigerians poorer. Omole said public education was not taken seriously because most children of the rich and those in high offices do not attend school in Nigeria. He said: “The latest increment might be attributed to poor funding by the federal and state governments as ASUU poorly rated the President Muhammadu Buhari in the area of funding of university education.“ ASUU also noted that it would be difficult for any Nigeria university to effectively compete globally with the inadequate allocation of budgetary funding as prescribed by UNESCO to fund education.’’ It was learned that the University of Lagos, UNILAG, which was paying N14,500 would now pay N63, 500 as tuition fees.Other institutions that increased their fees include, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), from N27,000 to N41,000; University of Nigeria (UNN), from N60,450 to N66,950; Obafemi Awolowo University, from N19,700 to N55,700.
Others are Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), from N20,100 to N65,920; Bayero University, Kano, from N26,000 to N40,000; University of Abuja, from N39,300 to N42,300 and Usman Danfodiyo University, from N32,000 to N41,000.National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), from N36,000 to N41,000; University of Benin (UNIBEN), from N12, 000 to N49,500; University of Ilorin, from N16, 000 to N75,000 and Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), from N13, 560 to N83,940.
Also in the list are: Federal University, Minna (FUTMINNA), from N20,000 to N37,000; University of Calabar, from N30,500 to N42,750 and University of Uyo, from N71, 000 to N84, 250.
Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, from N16,000 to N40,000; Osun varsity, from N95,000 to N135,500; Anambra State University, from N76,000 to N139, 000 and Lagos State University, from N96,750 to N158,250. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai, from N25,000 to N52,000; Imo State University, from N120,000 to N150,000; Plateau State University, from N50,000 to N100,000 and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, from N57,000 to N75,000.
Others are: Ibadan Polytechnics, from N30,000 to N50,000; Abia Polytechnics, from N56,550 to N61,000; Auchi Polytechnic, from N14, 800 to N28,000 and Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, from N70,000 to N80,000. Enugu State University of Science and Technology, N104,900 to N124,900; Kwara Polytechnic, Ilorin, from N28,000 to N44,000; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), from N65,000 to N72,500 and Tai Solarin University of Education, from N66,500 to N76,500. Afe Babalola University, from N675,000 to N1,075,000; Igbinedion, from N540,000 to N820,000; Crawford University, from N400,000 to N600,000 and Redeemers University, from N545,000 to N605,000.Also in the list are Covenant University, from N774, 500 to N814, 500 and Benson Idahosa University, from N284, 300 to N1, 150,000.
Meanwhile, ASUU, through Biodun Ogunyemi, has vowed that the union would resist any attempt to increase tuition fees in the country’s public universities. He also said ASUU could go on strike, if government failed to meetits demand on adequate funding ofinstitutions and payment of salaries. Ogunyemi, who gave the hint in an exclusive chat with online portal, Premium Times, said the union would not accept any increase in fees by state or federal governments. “We will not tolerate any attempt toincrease tuition fee, we are againsttelling people to pay more, even the current fees, we are still fighting them, we as a body have always stood against fee increment and we will continue to stand against it,” he said.
The union leader spoke against thebackdrop of reports of a possible increase in tuition fees in universities by the federal government.According to him, ASUU has been engaging the federal government since November 2016 on issues rocking the university system.He said: “The truth is there are lotsof issues rocking the system. We have made our position known to the federal government; we have also written to state governments who have refused to give subvention to their universities. “Some of them cannot sustain one university and they go on to establish two or three, compounding the issues.“We have given the government till June ending to attend to our needs. If the government does notcall us by June ending, we will convey a meeting to take our position. “However, we are trying to engage the government but if they don’t invite us to a meeting before June ending, we will still take our position on whether we are going on strike or not.“But that will not be like early July but middle or late July, that is if they don’t heed to our demands, which includes payment of salaries, funding, research and lotsmore.”Asked if ASUU would initiate a meeting with the federal government, he said “we will not initiate any meeting if they don’t call us, we can’t initiate meeting.” He added that the feedback received from the petitions written to the government would determine whether there would be strike or not.