UNILAG slightly reduces fees after meeting with NANS

Adebayo Obajemu

It’s no longer news that the young administration of President Bola Tinubu has surreptitiously reintroduced tuition fees after signing the controversial Students Loan Bill into law due to be effective from this year’s September. But the new development has had far reaching implications for students in particular, and the future of education in the country in general.

Already, many tertiary institutions have allegedly jerked up fees, even though last week, Dele Alake, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties and Strategic Communication denied that the administration has introduced tuition fees. Alake said, “We are aware that some universities have in recent weeks announced an 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”.

He said 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,” the presidential spokesman clarified.

However, reacting to Alake’s comment, the National Association of Nigerian Students last week slammed the comment attributed to Alake on behalf of the presidency on the increase of school fees, saying it was deceitful and misleading.

In a statement released by NANS through its National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope said the presidency’s comment “is a dubious attempt to conceal the real picture and the extent of the crises the Federal Government and authorities of tertiary institutions have driven the students into.”

It also said the Tinubu-led administration displayed a “lack of willingness to ensure the education sector is uplifted”.

“The posture of the Nigerian government towards what we tag astronomical and illogical increment in fees payable across our Universities. We consider the claim by President Tinubu that Nigerian Universities are tuition-free, as deceitful and misleading.”

The apex student body demanded an immediate reversal of the fee increase in all federal. It also asked that the student loan scheme proposed by the Federal Government should be abandoned, adding that the education sector be properly funded for the effective delivery of quality education.

Business Hallmark’s investigations revealed that many institutions have already astronomically raised their fees by 100 to 200 per cent, a development many experts and stakeholders say may force some indigent students out of school.

Those institutions, which have jerked up their tuition fees blamed the need for such hike on poor government funding of tertiary education and rising inflation in the country, which last month attained the unenviable height of up to 22.4 per cent, the highest in 17 years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

University of Maiduguri, University of Uyo, University of Port Harcourt, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Federal University of Health Sciences, Azare , Federal University, Lafia , Federal University, Dutse, Federal University, Kashere, University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Federal University of Technology, Owerri have all made public increments in their school fees and sundry charges that students will have to pay.

Others, who have increased their fees are Bayero University Kano, Niger Delta University, Yenegoa, and National Open University of Nigeria, University of Ibadan, Delta State University, Abraka, and Ambrose Alli university, Ekpoma, Edo state.

Authorities of the Federal University, Dutse, in a memo by the Deputy Registrar (Academics) Kamal Habib Muhammad, announced a 200 per cent increase in its fees. It gave a concession, in that the new rate can be made in two installments and discounts will be given to staff members’ children.

From the old fees of N37,000, returning students will have to cough out N97,000 plus other sundry charges.

At the University of Maiduguri, UNIMAID, a memo sent to students, said owing to skyrocketing costs of teaching and learning materials, as well as laboratory consumables and reagents brought about by market forces, students will have to pay more. From N29, 830, it has skyrocketed to about N74, 000; registration fee at the university is N58,000, while fees for medical students was hiked to a whopping sum of N252,500 for new students, and N233, 000 for returning students.

New students in the Faculty of Law will now pay N124, 500, while returning students will pay N105, 000, while the highest being medical college at N238, 000.

On its own, the University of Nigeria Nsukka announced a 100 per cent hike in fees, while fresh students across the faculties in the university are to pay a consolidated fee of between N114, 650 and N120, 650, older students are expected to pay between N85, 00 – N95, 000. Prior to this, old students in the institution paid a fee of N40, 000, and new students N83, 000.

At the National Open University, undergraduates are expected to cough out N55, 000 instead of N36, 000, minus courses and exam registration, Exam registration is N1,500, project fee N25, 000, while postgraduates pay between N35, 000 and N61, 000.

At Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State, before new intakes used to pay N56, 000 but will now pay N188, 500. Fees for fresh students in arts and social sciences that was N55, 000 was jerked up to N183, 500 just as returning students are to pay N113, 000 as against N47, 000 old fee.

Students’ accommodation per bed space is now N60, 000 from N20, 000, while the GST handbook sold to students at N1, 500 per copy was increased to N6, 500.

At Bayelsa State government-owned Niger Delta University (NDU), Amasoma, second year students of the Faculty of Nursing, who paid N37, 000 as school fees last year would now pay N100, 000.

At Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, medical students will now pay as much as N750, 000, while the least fee fixed was N200, 000. University of Uyo (UNIUYO) is not left out, as it reportedly raised its charges from N48, 000 to N105, 000 for new students.

Students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, are now expected to pay N55, 000 from N26, 000, while returning students in the Arts and related faculties at the University of Abuja will now pay N82, 000, while their medical counterparts will pay N225, 000.

New students would be paying between N85, 000 and over N100, 000 in the Arts faculties, while medical students would pay above N225, 000.

At Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, the increment was nearly 300 per cent. Law students are now expected to pay as high as N441,500 as against N185,000 paid in the previous year. Similarly, medical students are now expected to pay N638,000 as against N216, 000 based on the new increment.

At Bayero University Kano, fresh undergraduates of Nursing will pay N220,500 and N197,500 for returning ones, followed by those of the Faculty of Clinical Sciences (MBBS) and Dentistry, who will now pay N170,000 for new and N160,000 for returning students.

Students of education courses will now pay between N137,500 and N138, 500 for fresh students, while returning students will pay between N132, 500 and N138, 500 depending on their course.

Returning students in the faculties of Arts and Islamic Studies, Law, Management Sciences and Social Sciences will pay N97,000, while fresh students will pay N105, 000. Students in Faculties of Computer Science, Communications, Earth and Environmental Sciences will also pay N100,000 as returning while fresh students will pay N110,000 respectively

At the University of Lagos, according to the management, from next academic session on October 3rd, returning students will now be paying between N100,750 and N190,250 depending on courses of study per session with medical and dentistry students paying the highest.

On the other hand, new intakes will now pay between N126,325 and N190,250, and this also depends on their courses of study. The charges on hostel accommodation and various departmental levies are not captured in the above figures.

Already, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has voiced its opposition to the increase in school fees by the various institutions and called for urgent government intervention.

ASUU’s National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, noted that the decision could put higher education out of reach for indigent students. He voiced grave apprehension over the alleged government’s gradual distancing and systematic withdrawal from funding public universities through introduction of education loans, saying that the introduction of education banks has never succeeded in countries, where it was implemented.

Professor Adeagbo Moritiwon, a political scientist slammed the government for rushing into the policy without consultation, saying the scheme was ill conceived and not properly thought out. He said it was inconceivable that the government would ever consider such Ill- advised policy at the times ordinary Nigerians are going through economic hell.

However, an online daily quoted a vice chancellor of Nigerian university, who craved anonymity as saying :

“Do you know that diesel alone gulps over 70 per cent of the subvention coming from the centre? Do you know how much it costs to pay salaries of academic and non-academic staff? Do you know how expensive it is to ensure security on campus, logistics and others? I think while there is the need for the federal government to have other ways of easing the pressure on parents, universities should also learn some lessons on how to diversify so that we can collectively salvage the situation.”

Regarding the students loan, students have condemned the loan as unworkable, advising government to move away from it.

Also, lecturers in the nation’s universities and polytechnics have given repeated warnings to the Federal Government not to play with the idea of increasing tuition fees by hiding under the cloak and dagger strategem of a Students’ Loan Scheme through which students can source for money to finance their education.

Lecturers, who spoke to Business Hallmark separately said the scheme is unworkable given the condition that the beneficiaries will have to commence repayment two years after completing the National Youth Service Scheme, NYSC, since it’s always difficult to access jobs after the compulsory one year NYSC.


Dr.Olufemi Omoyele, director of Entrepreneurship at Redeemer University, said the hike in tuition fees for public schools is not justified given the perverse poverty that has not been addressed.

The National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, repeated his earlier warning that government is just using the loan to hike tuition fees.


“It is a subtle hike in tuition fees in tertiary institutions. If a student says he cannot afford the fee, he would be asked to go and take the loan. We are not talking about how the children of the poor will be able to access it. We know that in Nigeria, things meant for the masses are always hijacked by the rich. After graduation, the children of the rich will get jobs and those of the poor, who may benefit from the scheme, will have no job from which to repay. We are not in support of any move to hike fees.

“The union will react appropriately soon, but Nigerians know our stance on the scheme. It may not ultimately benefit children of the poor and even if it does, it will just put debt burden on them. Let the cost of governance be reduced and frivolous contracts and spendings be done away with and we will have more funds for social services like education and others.”

According to the National President of ASUP, Dr. Anderson Ezeibe, “the law does not take cognisance of the economic realities and situation in the country. The foundation for the scheme to fail has been laid. The unemployment rate in Nigeria, which I learnt is over 43% is one of the highest and under such condition, the scheme won’t be sustainable. It is a funny way of introducing tuition fee and take away education from the children of the poor that they claim to support.

“It is like the proponents of the law don’t live in Nigeria. Let them take a look at the situation on ground and do something that will reflect the realities on ground. Who is deceiving whom? If beneficiaries don’t secure employment after graduation and you expect them to begin repayment, the scheme will crash.


“Officially, tuition is free, but institutions have hiked service charges like Acceptance Fes, ID card Fees, Hostel Fees among others. A student, who complains of inability to pay would just be asked to go to seek students loan. Government should just convene a meeting of stakeholders and experts and people will chip in ideas on how to fund education and even free funds from frivolous sectors.”

Recently, The United Nations (UN) advised Nigeria to increase its present seven percent budget for education to 20 percent with clear accountabilities on delivery. The world body said unless Nigeria acts fast on the issue, the country might not achieve the global agenda for universal inclusive and equitable basic education for all school-age children by 2030.

It would be recalled that for years, Nigeria’s allocation to the education sector has been below the recommended benchmark for developing nations. In the 2023 budget, the sector got N1.79 trillion — representing 8.2 per cent of the appropriation bill.

The break down showed N103.29 billion was allocated for Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) while transfers to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for infrastructure projects in tertiary institutions is N248.27 billion.

N470 billion was said to have been allocated for tertiary education revitalisation and salary enhancement.

In this year’s budget, the education sector got the second largest allocation after defence and security sectors which account for N2.98 trillion — representing 13.4 per cent of the budget.

According to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) , member nations should earmark four to six per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or 15 to 20 of public expenditure (annual budget) to fund education. However, UNESCO said “the majority of countries have not yet reached this threshold”.

But many stakeholders say the 2023 allocation to the sector was an increase from that of last year’s budget, which allotted education N923.79 billion representing 5.4 per cent of the N17.13 trillion budget.

In 2015 for instance, N24.9 billion was given to fund infrastructure and research in the 74 public universities in the country at the time. By 2016, the figure shot up to N74.7 billion but again plummeted to N49.1 billion in 2017 while 2018 and 2019 had N56.3 and N62.8 billion respectively.

As of 2020 and 2021, the intervention for 79 universities across the country stood at N71.6 billion respectively.

According to the United Nations, education is the single best investment countries can make to build prosperous, healthy and equitable societies.

Article 26 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to education.” Today however, 20 million children remain out of school.

Education is not only a right, but a passport to human development that opens doors and expands opportunities and freedoms.

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  1. […] 35 seconds agoby Latest TodayAdebayo Obajemu It’s no longer news that the young administration of President Bola Tinubu has surreptitiously reintroduced tuition fees after signing the controversial Students Loan Bill into law due to be effective from this year’s September. But the new development has had far reaching implications for students in particular, and the future of education in […]READ FULL STORYFacebookTwitterWhatsApp […]


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