Dayo Johnson – Akure
Authorities of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, (AAUA) Ondo State has announced the downward review of the tuition fees of its students.
A circular, dated August 26, 2020, issued by the institution’s Acting Registrar and Secretary to the Governing Council, Mr Opeoluwa Akinfenwa said that the governing council of the institution has approved the reduction.
Akinfenwa said the reduction became necessary following appeal from students of the University.
The circular read that, “I write on the directive of the Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Olugbenga IGE to inform all returning students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko that following an earlier appeal by students, and in view of the economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country on parents and students, the governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has directed that the university should consider a reduction in tuition fees in a way that quality education can still be sustained in the university.”
The circular indicated that students in the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences who were paying N150,000 before, will now pay N120,000.
Students in the Faculties of Agriculture and Education, will now pay N100,000 instead of N150,000. Faculty of Arts students will pay N80,000 as against N100,000 being paid before. But the tuition fees for the Faculty of Law students remained N150,000.
Recall that the university authorities increased the tuition fees in 2018 from N30,000 to over N150,000 depending on the academic programmes of the students.
A protest was staged by the students to show their displeasure but the state government insisted that the economic reality necessitated the increment in the fees.
Recall that governor Rotimi Akeredolu and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party in the state disagreed over plans to reduce tuition fees in the state tertiary institutions
While the PDP Publicity Secretary, Kennedy Ikantu Peretei described the governors promise to reduce tuition in the state owned school as laughable and ridiculous.
Peretei said ” the governor’s new decision is a mere campaign trick to hoodwink the electorates ahead of the October Gubernatorial Election
But governor Akeredolu said that students are important to his administration, disclosed that he had instructed his team to find out the tuition payable in other state owned institution so as to know what step to take on the reduction of tuition in the state.
He said that ”Students are important to us. It will take all of us to sit down to have this discussion about tuition. It’s not a discussion of the deaf. All of us will be hearing. A time when you go to Abuja and take N9 Billion as against when you go to Abuja now and get far less and you have to pay salary.
“I met seven months salary arrears and I have paid six. So I prioritized the workers’ welfare. We shore up our IGR to spend more on infrastructure. I note what you have raised on this issue of fee.
“At my last meeting, I have said let me have where they are paying less than what we charge here.
” What we found out was that for those newly admitted, we still charge the lowest in tuition but for the second year and all, we have state owned institutions that charge lesser than us. And if not for this issue of COVID19, we have decided to reduce it. We will reduce it.
He said ” it’s not a matter for political gains. I know by the time we announce it they will turn it to political gains. We will make sure that by next week we make the announcement on the fee.