The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has directed the management of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko to reduce the amount paid as tuition fees as a palliative measure to cushion the economic effect of the pandemic on the students.
In the circular signed on August 26 by the Acting Registrar, Mr Opeoluwa Akinfenwa, the conclusion was reached after the management and student leaders met with the governor.
The slash, which takes effect from the ongoing 2019/2020 academic session and excludes the Faculty of Law, fresh students and final year students, will enable the Faculty of Science, Social and Management Sciences and Agriculture pay N120,000 and N100,000, respectively, instead of N150,000. The Faculty of Art and the Faculty of Education are to pay N80,000 instead of N100,000. The circular further enjoined students to complete their registration without hesitation.
In interviews with our reporter, students have revealed their thoughts showing displeasure with the news as it failed to meet their expectations, leading some to express scepticism on the motive behind the action.
Ibigbami Ebenezer from the department of Pure and Applied Science said that he cannot call it reduction. In his words: “I can’t even call it reduction because it isn’t at all. Seeing how it was increased in the first instance, this deduction is unbelievable. The worst of it is the fact that the deduction did not apply to everyone. Indeed, a reduction!”
Corroborating this, a 300 level student of mass communication who pleaded anonymity opined that the change is occasioned by political intent. She said: “I have come to realize that behind every decision and action, there is a force.”
“The funniest part of this whole story is him reducing the school fees partly, ‘die-minute’ to the gubernatorial election. It is so evident that he took the action to lure the people of Ondo state to vote him in for the second time. It is true that he has the power to reduce the fee all this while but didn’t, until now.”
“He only reduced it by 20%, all in the name of capturing the people’s heart. This action is irrational, tactless and so annoying.”
In reaction to the news, the Office of the President of Law Students Society, through the Media Aide, Fowowe Adetomiwa, has released a press statement to inform the public that the Faculty was not properly represented at the meeting.
The press statement assured the students of the President’s commitment to ensure that all hands are on deck towards addressing the situation in favour of the students.
“It is, in all honesty, shocking that only the tuition of the students of the Faculty of Law was not reduced. This, in turn, begs diverse questions that unfortunately, the President is currently unable to answer. However, based on presumptions, this undeserved action might be due to the fact that Mr Governor omitted to review the tuition fee of the Faculty of Law.”
“It is on this note that the President makes a commitment that this matter would be looked into vehemently, and by assurance, this matter would be resolved in our favour in no time. Calls would be put across to all relevant stakeholders relating to the students’ affairs of the state. And most importantly, the executives on behalf of the students of the Faculty of Law would address a letter to Mr Governor to avert his attention to this omission.”
The Chairman of National Association of Nigerian Students, JCC Ondo axis, Comr. Akintewe Babatunde Afeez (Babtee), while giving his account of the incident in his press report, assured the students that the action is devoid of political intent. He also appreciated the state Governor for the reduction and pleaded that a review should be orchestrated to facilitate a reduction of fees paid by students of other institutions in the state.
“With sincerity of heart do I report that there are no political or individual interests in the reduction of the tuition fees as some individuals are saying across the state. It’s in our general interest as Nigerian students, a struggle that our younger ones matriculating would benefit from onwards.”
In the press release announced by the Public Relations Officer of the AAUA Student Union, Comr. Adegbeyeni Oluwafemi (Barryfem), the Student Union lauded His Excellency for heeding their plea to make education affordable. Other principal officers who contributed to the successful reduction were also acknowledged. Albeit, they bemoaned the rate at which it was reduced.
“Sequel to this reduction, we appreciate His Excellency Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for yielding to our request, as making education affordable and accessible to the students is the Union’s utmost aim.”
“However, the reduction is still not suitable to the student populace and we’ll make sure we don’t relent in our agitations till we achieve further reduction as we assure you that this present administration will be very much committed to advocating her students’ plight and ensuring the better sustainability of its welfare.”
They further reiterated their commitment to ensuring that more deduction is achieved.
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