LASU Students Have No Objection To Tuition Introduction- Opeifa
Mr Opeifa noted that after a series of meetings with the Student Union President, they found out that “what they are asking for is an increase in subsidy from government” insisting that “they have no objection to tuition introduction”.
“Currently the students in engineering pay N280, 000. They are saying since government has subsidised to the tune of 80-90 per cent across board, government can increase that to 95 per cent so that it can bring that amount to something lower than what it is now” he said.
He argued that the student union leader “didn’t give a true picture” of what students pay , adding that “medical students pay N350, 000 including N60, 000 for accommodation at LASUTH per annum”.
He went down memory lane to reveal that when the institution was formed in 1983, there was no tuition. He however noted that in 1995 , there was an attempt to introduce tuition, while he was there as a member of the Senate, but the matter was dropped after the Senate notified the school authority that it was the responsibility of the council and not the school authority.
He added that “in 2003 or so, tuition was again attempted to be introduced but it was not. That was when the payment of N25, 000 came. As at that time, it was not tuition, it all fell under registration, field trips, and manual fees.
“So when there was a crisis like this three years ago, LASU students went to the House of Assembly” asking for a visitation panel that will get the issue solved.
Mr Opeifa revealed that it was based on the recommendation of the visitation panel, the students asked for, that tuition was increased. While noting that the Panel did not specify the amount to be introduced, Mr Opeifa said the “rate at which they are currently paying came from the Adhoc Committee on Review of Tuition in the university” adding that “all the fees you see are from the university”.
He also noted that before the introduction of the tuition “LASU was about the only university that was not paying tuition in Nigeria”.
From the foregoing, Opeifa argued that “the crisis of paying money should not be against government and when the students came to meet the governor, they never said they are fighting government” insisting that the matter they brought was that the governor should appeal to the school authority to reduce the amount they pay”.
He however noted that the governor will do everything possible to take the appropriate decision that is in the interest of the people of Lagos, the university and putting the consideration of the university population and especially the students.
The government, according to him, will get back to the students on Monday, 9th June 2014 with its decision.
Students of the Lagos State University, Ojo, on Tuesday, barricaded the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, to protest the failure of the Lagos State government to accede to their request for reduction in their school fees.
The students, in their hundreds, barricaded the road at the Ikeja, along the road bus stop, reducing traffic to a crawling point.