Government Stands Strong on Tuition Fees
Amid recent controversies surrounding charges in federal universities, the Federal Government has reiterated its stance that no tuition fees should be imposed on students attending federal universities across the country. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr. David Adejo, emphasized this during a public hearing held by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee on student loans in Abuja.
Charges to Cover Essential Services
Mr. David Adejo elaborated on the nature of the charges imposed by federal universities. He clarified that the funds collected from students are designated to cover specific services such as accommodation, information and communication technology (ICT), and power supply. These charges are approved by the respective Governing Councils of the universities, who possess the authority to determine such costs.
Clarification on University Charges
Adejo addressed the issue of recent charges raised by universities and the alleged connection to the Students’ Loan Act. He confirmed that the University of Lagos was the sole institution that increased its charges after the act’s signing. However, this decision was halted by a resolution from the House and a directive from the President. Despite the charges, universities struggle to cover their expenses, and collected fees contribute to funding critical services, including electricity bills.
In his statements, Mr. Adejo emphasized that the groundwork for the student loans scheme’s launch in the 2023/2024 academic year is being solidified. He noted that President Bola Tinubu has issued directives for the completion of necessary preparations to ensure the scheme’s implementation by September.
Committee Chairman Teseer Ugbor acknowledged the student loan initiative as a part of the federal government’s efforts to provide relief and promote access to higher education for Nigerians. He expressed concerns over the distribution and recovery process of the funds. Ugbor called for constructive dialogue during the process of amending the law, ensuring equitable access to the loan for all interested Nigerian students.