President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has denied increasing school fees and insisted that federal universities remain tuition-free across Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement signed by Dele Alake, the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, Communications & Strategy on Wednesday, July 26, 2023.
Many institutions recently increased their fees by 100 to 200 percent including most federal and state universities, to cushion the effects of funding challenges in public institutions.
They justified the hike on poor government funding of tertiary education and rising inflation in the country, which shot up to 22.4 per cent, the highest in 17 years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
So far, the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) University of Uyo (UNIUYO) University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU) Federal University of Health Sciences, Azare (FUHSA) Federal University, Lafia (FULAFIA), Federal University, Dutse (FUD) Federal University, Kashere (FUKASHERE), University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) have all announced increments in their school fees and other sundry charges payable by students.
Others include Bayero University Kano (BUK), Niger Delta University (NDU), Nsukka, and National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), University of Ibadan (UI), Bayero University, Kano (BUK), Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, among others.
The development has begun to raise fear among parents and students, as stakeholders described it as an attempt to pile more economic woes on suffering Nigerians.
However, reacting on Wednesday, President Tinubu said reports that the federal government has increased tuition fee is untrue and insisted that tuition fees for federal schools remain free for all.
The 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.
“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.”