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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Peter Obi’s running mate’s university sends 185 amnesty students out of exam hall over unpaid fees despite appeal from Nigerian government

The management of Baze University, Abuja has ordered the suspension of about 185 students of the institution due to outstanding fees.

According to the Vanguard report on Friday, December 9, 2022, the affected students are under the Nigerian Government-sponsored Presidential Amnesty Programme’s scholarship.

The undergraduates were said to have been asked to leave when they were about to sit their Digital Entrepreneurship examination.

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The action of the private school owned by Dr Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party against the students has incurred the anger of the students, their parents and family members and some members of the public.

Some of the affected students said they were shocked because the school never drew their attention to the development. Also, according to them, their parents and guardians were also not informed of the action that would be taken against them over the outstanding fees.

After being sent out of the school premises, some of the students who had nowhere to go were seen loitering in some parts of Abuja on Thursday.

Some students said they hung around corridors to take the examination but were not even allowed to sign the attendance register for the general paper. So, they doubted if the school management would allow them to retake the exams.

Others lamented that the school took the action after a long period of preparation for the examination with prior notification given to the parents.

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Some of the students lamented that they had already been seated at the multi-purpose hall of the university to take the examination when a lecturer came and asked all the students on Amnesty Scholarship to leave the hall.

It was, however, gathered that the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Major General Barry Ndiomu (retd) had appealed to the school for patience, notifying the authorities that payments for the students on the scholarship would be delayed.

It was also learnt that no effort was made by the school to put the Amnesty Office nor the parents of the students on notice before they were sent out of the examination hall.

The letter dated November 8, 2022, and addressed to the Registrar of the institution, Dr Mani Ibrahim Ahmad was titled “Notification in the Delay In the Payment of Tuition Fees for PAP-Sponsored Students for the 2022/2023 Academic Session.”

The PAP Administrator explained in the letter that the delay in the payment of the 2022/2023 fees was due to financial commitments and budgetary constraints.

He, therefore, assured the school authorities that the outstanding fees would be paid on or before the end of the first quarter of 2023.

The letter to Baze University authorities is titled “Notification Of Delay In The Payment Of Tuition Fees For Pap-Sponsored Students For The 2022/2023 Academic Session”.

It reads, “1. Have been briefed about the corporate relationship and strategic partnership between Baze University and the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), in providing qualitative formal Education opportunities to beneficiaries.

“2. If you recall, tuition fees for students deployed in February 2022 have been paid. However, due to the current financial commitments of my Office as well as budgetary constraints, I write to notify you that there will be a delay in the payment of tuition fees for the students who are in training at your University for the 2022/2023 academic session.

“3. I can assure you that on or before the end of the first quarter of 2023, based on the scheduled release of funds by the Federal Government, the PAP Office would have fully met its outstanding financial responsibilities to your University.

“4. Please accept the assurances of my esteemed regards.”

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