Following an announcement by Nigeria’s President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu during his inaugural speech on June 12, 2023 to remove fuel subsidy, there has been an outcry over the rising cost of living by Nigerians across the 36 states as many fear that tuition fees in Nigerian universities would also be hiked.
These concerns became more alarming when some federal universities including the University of Lagos and of Abuja reportedly increased the cost of charges payable by students in their respective institutions.
In the wake of the development, both students and their parents wondered what effect the newly introduced Students Loan scheme would make in the already drowning economy of the nation if tuition is also increased.
However, in a recent turn of events, the Presidency has reportedly dissociated itself from the alleged increase in tuition fees for Nigerian universities.
Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communication and Strategy, Mr Dele Alake in a statement issued on Wednesday, debunked the claims, stating that government has not even introduced a tuition fee in any of the institutions.
He acknowledged the widespread public agitations over the rumours adding that some stakeholders came down hard on universities that were alleged to have increased tuition while calling on the Federal Government to sort out the situation.
Alake said according to them, a hike in tuition would only worsen the already harsh effect of the economy especially on parents.
Mr Alake in his statement also said Federal universities in Nigeria remain tuition-free while explaining that the universities where fees were hiked were responsible for their own changes. He explained that in most of the affected institutions, the tuition item on the list of payable fees of such school remains remains without a price-tag.
He added that his principal’s administration is equally dedicated to making education reachable to all by putting together, other various measures other than the Students’ Loans Scheme. His statement read:
“It was widely reported earlier this week across some news media outlets that the Federal Government had increased tuition fees in federal universities in the country.
“These reports are inaccurate and not correct.
“We are aware that some universities have in recent weeks announced increase in the amount payable by students on sundry charges.
“However, the fact remains and we have confirmed that these are discretionary charges by each university for hostel accommodation, registration, laboratory and other charges. They are not tuition fees.
“Authorities of these universities even made this fact clear enough in explaining the rationale behind these new fees.
“For avoidance of doubts, federal universities in Nigeria remain tuition-free,” the presidency said.
It further assured Nigerians that President Tinubu remains committed to make education reachable to all Nigerians, promising that more innovative solutions are still being planned to make the resolve achievable.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains committed to his promise of ensuring that every Nigerian, regardless of the economic situation of their parents, have access to quality tertiary education.
“In addition to the Students’ Loans Scheme, under the Student Loans Bill signed into law by President Tinubu last month, which will go into implementation ahead of the next academic session in September, the Federal Government will also strengthen other mechanisms to support indigent students.
“Parts of the government’s plans to make sure all diligent students complete their education on time, notwithstanding their parents’ financial situation, include work-study, merit-based scholarships and grants,” it added.
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