Group Condemns Hike In LASU Fees, Charges

LASU Fee Hike: Group Condemns Management’s PlanThe Council of Higher Institutions (COHI) has criticised the hike in acceptance fee and indigene verification charges by the management of the Lagos State University (LASU).

COHI, which is an organ of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Area Unit, made the disclosure in a statement signed by its Coordinator, AbdulWaasi’ Muddaththir.

The body noted that the said fee to be paid by students was against the current fee regime of the institution, which was just reversed from the previous over 250,000 naira to its initial 25,000 naira.

“It would be recalled that the management had on Monday released a bulletin via its website, stating that the successfully admitted students should within a week pay a non-refundable acceptance fee of 20,000 naira and indigeneship verification fee of 5,000 naira.

“Whereas the acceptance fee increased from 10,000 naira to 20,000 naira, the verification fee rose to 5,000 naira from 1,000 naira.‎ The increment in the fees may lead to chaos and another closure of the institution which has just been witnessing calmness after several years of unease, if care is not ‎taken.”

The group asked, “Of what benefit is it to the government to deny students of having access to education? Why should a whooping sum of 5,000 naira be collected from indigenes?”

The council alleged that the move by the institution was a means to strategically return to the unbearable fee of over 1000% increment.

“If an administration at its early stage can introduce an unjustifiable increment in acceptance and verification fees, then there are high tendencies that the same government may return to the obnoxious 1000 percent increment later reversed by the same All Progressives Congress-led administration,” the body added.

COHI also urged the LASU management to extend the time for payment of the normal fee beyond one week so as to enable indigents pay.

Amosun Names Adejuwon Soyinka As Media Aide

Amosun-soyinkaThe Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has approved the appointment of Mr. Adejuwon Soyinka as his Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Media.

Mr. Adejuwon, a multiple award winning journalist, was until his latest appointment, the Deputy General Editor and member of the Editorial Board of the TELL Magazine, Lagos.

The new SSA Media whose experience spans over 16 years in the media industry, holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in History and International Relations and Diploma in Law from the Lagos State University, in 2005 and 2000 respectively.

Mr. Soyinka is said to have bagged also, an Ordinary National Diploma in Journalism and Certificate in Basic News Writing and Reporting from the Nigeria Institute of Journalism in 1999.

He has won several awards including Nigerian Media Merit Awards as Foreign News Reporter in 2013, Human Rights Reporter in 2012, Print Journalist and Human Rights Reporter of the Year 2011.

Other awards in his kitty are the Wole Soyinka Prize for Investigative Reporting (Climate Change Reporting Category) in 2010 and the Diamond Award for Media Excellence (DAME) Capital Market Reporting Award in 2009, among others.

The 38-year-old indigene of Ogun State is a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE).

Lagos Doctors Suspend Strike

Lagos doctorsThe strike by doctors working for the Lagos State Government which began on March 16 has been suspended.

Full services are to resume from 8am on Thursday, March 26.

According to the Secretary of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State chapter, Dr. Babajide Saheed, the suspension of the strike came after what he described as a ”fruitful meeting” between Lagos State Government officials and the Lagos doctors on Tuesday.

Following its congress on Wednesday, the NMA and Medical Guild have set up a committee to ensure the implementation of government promises which include the payment of the withheld salaries.

Public hospitals in Lagos were shut following disagreement over issues which include alleged engagement of doctors as casual workers; the suspension of the training of resident doctors in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and the withholding of doctors’ salaries for May 2012 and between August and September 2014, over the doctors’ involvement in an industrial action.

Buhari Should Seek Forgiveness From Yorubas, Not Votes – Fayose

buhariEkiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said that the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) presidential candidate, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (Rtd) should seek forgiveness (not votes) from Yoruba people of the South-West, including Edo and Delta States.

According to the governor, Buhari’s cancellation of the Lagos Metroline project in 1985 was the greatest disservice to the Yoruba people in particular, and Nigerians in general.

“If Buhari had not cancelled the Metroline project out of vendetta,transportation problems in Lagos would have been solved permanently.

“The Metroline project would have made life easier and changed the face of transport in Lagos.

But Buhari cancelled it and even went ahead to pay compensation to the French company that handled it. Buhari’s action cost Lagosians over $78 million then,” Fayose said.

Speaking further, the governor said; “In Yorubaland, we were enjoying free education and free health before Buhari came.

Then, all that was needed to go to primary and secondary schools was school uniform while drugs were free.

“Apart from free education and free health, the South West witnessed rapid development.

Lagos State University, Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University), Ondo State University (now Ekiti State University), Ondo State Polytechnic (now Rufus Giwa Polytechnic), and several other institutions were established.

“As at 1979, Lagos State had no secretariat. Jakande’s government built the Alausa Secretariat within four years. Ajasin’s government built Alagbaka Secretariat in Akure within four years. Even the Lekki-Epe road on which they are now collecting tolls was constructed by Jakande.

“For all that they did for us in Yorubaland, what did Buhari do to Jakande, Ajasin, Bola Ige and Bisi Onabanjo? He jailed them and Bisi Onabanjo came out of prison with health issues that eventually claimed his life.

“What did Buhari do to reward Awolowo, whose party gave us free education and free health? Awolowo’s international passport was seized and he was prevented from traveling abroad for medical treatment. Awolowo died two years after!

“In 1984 that Buhari introduced school fees, thousands of our youths then dropped out of school.

“Therefore, Buhari who truncated the future of many of our people and jailed our leaders who served our land selflessly should be seeking forgiveness from Yoruba people, not votes.”

Pioneer VC Advocates Funding LASU From Other Sources

LASUAdequate funding, proper financial management and investment in staff training are critical to the development of any educational institution.

These are part of the submissions at a forum organised to chart a new course for the Lagos State University (LASU) at Ojo.

The participants, amongst whom were the pioneer and current Vice-Chancellor of the school, believe that it is time to move the school away from that of consistent crisis to a stable academic environment.

The founding Registrar of the School, Esther Ashafa, said that the school would need to revisit its founding vision as Lagos belongs to all and stakeholders must believe they have a role to play in sustaining the vision of the founding fathers.

The Lagos State University was established 31 years ago and in recent years has been enmeshed in various crisis, including cultism, incessant student unrest, unstable academic environment and a hike in school fees in 2011.

These are among issues that have affected the school negatively.

In proffering the solution to these problems, the Pioneer VC, Prof Afolabi Olumide, stated that funding LASU should not be the sole responsibility of Government alone.

“The responsibility for the provision of such funds belongs, not only to the sponsoring body, that is Government or a private institution, but also to other who may be interested in the institution,” he said.

Students Honour Fashola With Certificate Of Commendation

FasholaIn appreciation of his contributions to the improvement of education in the country, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in the South West Zone, on Monday, honoured the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, with a Certificate of Commendation.

Governor Fashola, who recently announced a reversal of the school fees in the Lagos State University (LASU) to its old structure, got the students’ applause for giving them a listening ear and allowing them the chance to contribute their quota to the growth of education by getting proposals from them, while they engaged the government during the recent students crisis.

The students, represented by their “Senators” from all the higher institutions in the South West Zone, said that the Governor struck them as the right leader to turn the country around through the creative way he recognized the import of their arguments that education could be run in a way as to encourage both the children of the rich and the poor to fulfill their gifts for education, without creating classes and division among them.

Governor Fashola received the recognition award at the Lagos House, Ikeja, and charged them to always reflect on how the quality of education can be improved. While making a commitment that the State Government would solve the problem of the issue of quality of education, he stated that the students also have a role to play in proffering solutions.

“I am also inquiring from you that how can we improve the quality of education? So that we can begin to plan how to produce our next sets of graduates that would produce our cars, give us electricity, perform heart and kidney surgeries here. It may look so far away but we are so closer to getting out and you are so close to taking over. We need to quickly fill that gap”, he stated.

On the Lagos State University (LASU) issue, Governor Fashola said, ”It was the students who asked for intervention in their school. All actions have consequences. When you sought the setting up of visitation panels, you don’t know what the result would be. What you did not realize is that you were asking outsiders to come. I hope the right lessons have been learnt. For us it is about making things better. You must ask yourself, is your method working? If they are not working, are you reflecting on changes?” he said.

Fashola expressed gladness that the school fees issue ended in the way it did, which exceeded the expectation of the students, adding that it was important to remind everyone of how it all started and that the State Government did not just wake up and decided to increase fees in LASU.

He said, “Part of the recommendation also was that there should be massive investment in infrastructure funding and part of it was that we should also increase school fees. It was not our initiative It was the consequence of the choice that you made.”

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone D Coordinator, Mr Sunday Ashefon, commended the Governor for surprising the students with his decision on the LASU fees because what the students were clamoring for was a reduction. He said, ”The fees payable in LASU now is not obtainable in any tertiary institution in Nigeria today.” He described Governor Fashola as another Awolowo of his generation.

 

LASU Fees: Fashola Orders Reversal To N25,000

Lasu FeesThe Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has approved the return to the old fees of 25,000 Naira for the Lagos State University (LASU)

He made this known on Thursday at the institution’s 19th convocation ceremony for the award of higher degrees, held at the school’s campus in Ojo.

Governor Fashola gave the announcement to the students and hailed the Students’ Union for its maturity during protests against the increase of fees between 193,000 Naira and 350,000 Naira respectively .

He said, “I appreciate the maturity of our students in the way they went about their agitation for the reduction of school fees, in the course of their protest, I invited them and they responded. The students submitted a position paper on what they felt the fees should be, we looked at their (students) position paper and the adjustment they recommended and made a reduction of between 34 to 60 per cent.

“But they (students) were not satisfied. They said the fees were still high and wanted further reduction. We looked into their demands and decided that school fees must revert to the old rate.”

The Governor explained that the move became necessary because of the current economic situation of the country. He promised to make the school one of the top tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

“We have come into conclusion that the current economic realities of our country compelled a return to the old school fees’ structure,” he said.

With the fees reverted, it is expected that activities in the university would return to normal.

LASU Strike Finally Over

After 3weeks of closure, the Lagos State University has finally settled its fees issues with students, and has asked its student to resume on June 23.

The students, who protested and embarked on a ‘compulsory recess’ due to the hike in school fee, have achieved their aim and were asked by the school to resume lectures in a released statement on June 19.

The statement by the school reads: “This is to inform all Full-Time Undergraduate Students (Fresh and Returning)
of Lagos State University that school re-opens for normal academic activities on Monday, June 23, 2014.

“Students are therefore expected to commence payment of school fees and also register, as the portal shall be opened on Friday, June 20, 2014.

“Registration, which is for two (2) weeks, shall commence on Friday, June 20, 2014 and end on the midnight of July 6, 2014.

“Tuition fees can be paid in full or in two installments of 70 percent (Harmattan Semester) and the balance of 30 percent at the beginning of Rain Semester.

“The revised fees schedule for all the faculties can be found on the school’s website.

“It should however be noted that the new regime of fees is not applicable to students
at 400 level and above.”

The management wished the student a successful academic session.

LASU Student Urges Fashola To Make Reduction In Naira Not In Percentage

LASU PROThe Public Relations Officer of the Lagos State University, Students Union Government, Mr Adekoya Joseph has called on the Lagos State government to make the reductions in school fees in naira and kobo and not in percentage.

Speaking on Rubbin’ Minds, alongside the president of the Union, Nurudeen Yusuf, he noted that “when the fees was to be increased, the government came out to tell us how much we will be paying in naira and kobo” but “when they came out to announce the reduction, they announced the reduction in percentage” insisting that “this has created a lot of confusion” adding that what we are saying is the reduction should be announced in naira and kobo”

He said that the 34-60 per cent reduced by the government is still very high “because with the present reduction, a medical student will still be paying 250, 000 naira, a science student will be paying about 198, 000 naira” adding that “the lowest paying student of LASU, that is a student of Arts, will be paying 127,500 naira.

He said they had given Governor Babtunde Fashola a proposal of what they can be able to afford and “after meeting with the general student populace we came up with a proposal on how much we can pay; we came up with 46, 500 naira and 65, 500.

“So it is outrageous for the government to come out and tell us they have announced a 34-60 per cent reduction” insisting that “what we are saying is that the government should give us what we want”.

He went further to reveal that the Lagos State-owned institution needs about N10 billion to service its recurrent and capital expenditure for a year, noting that with a yearly budget of “over N400 billion, the government cannot come and tell us they cannot finance the institution”.

He argued that if Lagos State is to go by the UNESCO, a United Nations organisation which expects its members to “allocate 26 per cent” of their budgets to education, “then Lagos State University being the only university run by Lagos State government that needs just N10 billion will not have a problem of finance”.

He also wondered why other state-owned institutions in states with less vibrant economies than Lagos are paying less amounts than students of LASU when “the economy of Lagos is more viable than some countries in West Africa”.

Lagos Government Reduces University Fees

lasuThe Lagos State government has approved a 34-60% reduction in school fees of the Lagos State University (LASU) in a bid to end the protest of the new fees by the students.

Briefing journalists on the recommendations of the ad-hoc committee on LASU fees in Lagos on Wednesday, the special adviser to the governor on education, Mr Fatai Olukoga, said the reduction are on the grounds that some of the fee components should not have been applied across board and certain charges could be reduced on compassionate grounds.

Academic activities in the school had been grounded for days due to protest by students over fees hike. They had demanded that the state government should reduce the fees.

Representatives of the State University Students Union had submitted an open letter to the government during a meeting between the state governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, and the Union.

Mr Olukoga, stated that the government would remain committed to the development of the State University and would continue to deploy resources at its disposal towards the provision of a conducive learning environment with up-to-date facilities.

The government accepted that the fees and charges payable by students for incidental services and material are amenable to a downward review because some of the fee component had been applied to students across all level when in fact they can be justifiably limited to students at a particular level only and because some of the charges included could still be reduced on compassionate grounds.

The government, however, pointed out that in LASU, the budget for recurrent and capital expenditure of about 10 billion Naira for 2014 was partially funded from fees amounting to only about 10 per cent while the government provided the remaining 90 per cent.

It is expected that with the fees reduction academic activities will commence in full.

LASU Protest, A Fight For Survival – Analyst

Achike ChudeA public affairs analyst and representative of the Joint Action Front, Achike Chude, on Monday, described the on-going protest by students of the Lagos State University (LASU) – over the hike in school fees as a fight for survival.

Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Chude said the policy was “most irresponsible” of the Lagos government, insisting that education is “about a service that is crucial and important for the well-being of the State”.

He also argued that the controversy over the development of the school and the increase in fees, required will-power on the part of the government to ensure that the citizens got education, no matter what.

“Our leadership, in as much as some of them have been educated within and outside the country, they do not seem to understand the virtue of education. You pay a price if you do not educate your people,” he said, noting that although “education is not enough, it is a way forward”.

Referring to the recent ASUU strike, he stressed that the government had become comfortable based on the inaction of the people for many years and bad governance was helping to radicalise those considered docile.

He made mention of the recommendation of UNESCO which urged governments to set aside 26% of its budget for education, asking that “how much is Lagos State spending on education?”

Chude disclosed that the position of JAF on the matter was for government to reverse the fee to what it was before the protests, as it was the duty of government to inject funds into the system.

“Education should be free in this country, because of where we are and the government capacity.”

Asked why students usually protest any change made in the education system, particularly, any increase in fees, Chude explained that “there is a nexus between the average student and the government institution because he is aware his parents contributed to building that infrastructure”” .

He noted that as long as it was a public institution, people had the right to ask questions.

He further said that the fact that people were sending their children abroad to be educated does not make it a LASU issue. It is a Nigerian one.

“There’s nothing wrong if LASU is a school for the poor,” he said.


 

LASU Union President Insists On Paying N46, 500 Tuition

lasuThe President, Lagos State University Student Union, Nurudeen Yusuf, has questioned the move by the state to increase the tuition.

He insisted that the government and authorities should revert to the agreement made by the student on April 7, 2014 to pay 46,500 Naira as tuition.

He stated that the school is a State University not a Private University and therefore should be made affordable for the common man.

The government had said that its intention was to improve on the standard of the university, but Mr Yusuf disagreed, stressing that “making the university a more standard university does not go in line with increasing the tuition”.

Mr Yusuf who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Wednesday urged the State government to increase its commitment towards the school by funding it adequately.

“The State government should fund the university adequately so that education will be made available to the people, so that the aim of the establishment of LASU will not be defeated,” the student union president stated.

He noted that the reasons behind the hike in fees should be explained by the government, and also criticised the recent move for students to pay for teaching practice  and other fees that the student were not meant to pay.

He complained about the school laboratory, stating that for over three years of increase in tuition fee, the school’s laboratories are without chemical, classes are without windows which is preventing the students from having quantitative and qualitative education.

He added that certain things should have been put in place before increasing the fees. He listed some of the areas needing attention to include improved standard of education and up-to-date infrastructures for teaching amongst others, urging the government to pay special attention to education like other developed countries.