NANS meets LASU acting VC over tuition hike

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The National President, National Association of Nigerian Students(NANS), Sunday Dayo Asefon, on Thursday, 14th January, 2021, led members of the national and state executives of the Body to the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Oyedamola Oke, on a dual mission to congratulate him on his new appointment and present some demands on behalf of the Lagos State University Students Union to him.

Of particular concern was the recent increase of the tuition of some students in the higher institution.

Professor Oke was joined by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Professor Wahab Elias, Dean, Students Affairs, Dr Tajudeen Olumoko and Deputy Registrar, Vice Chancellor’s Office, Mr Wale Anthony, to receive the delegation.

In his speech, Asefon noted that the visit was a cordial one, aimed at felicitating with the Acting Vice-Chancellor and appreciating the University Management formerly led by the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Okanrewaju Adigun Fagbohun, for building and sustaining a strong relationship with the students union of the university.

“I must really commend the University Management for it’s friendly approach to students union, which has led to five years of uninterrupted academic calendar. It means there is a smooth relationship and we want that to continue,” he said.

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He, however, called on the management to review the recent increase in the school fees, facilitate the speedy completion of the students union arcade and provide a new bus for the students union.

The university had, on Friday, 11th December, 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.

The students’ union had in a recent appeal to the state government and university authorities said they were primarily concerned about the welfare of members, and so would continue to advocate same in a peaceful manner.

They noted their concern 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.”

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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.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor, in his response, thanked the President and his team for coming to the university and promised to channel their demands to the appropriate quarters for action.

On the major demand, which is the review of the new school fees, Oke said, “We didn’t set out to inflict hardship on our prospective students, just as we didn’t just come up with those figures. We did all that was necessary and carried every stakeholder, including the students union along in arriving at that figure which will be paid only by incoming students.

“I appreciate your effort but when we are faced with this kind of problem, we must find a solution.”

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On his part, Elias, said, “The school fees had to be increased to ensure that we put the University in a strong position so that it doesn’t go into comatose. However, the decision was not unilaterally taken by us and we will inform our proprietor of your demand.”

The meeting rounded-off with a presentation of the University’s souvenirs to the delegation.

The Zonal Coordinator, NANS, South West Zone, Mr Samuel Kappo, President, Lagos State University Students Union, Mr Abdulbasit Ashade and Speaker Students Parliamentary Council, Mr Abdulquyum Aromire were among members of the delegation.

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