Following protests by students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) on Monday in Akure, Ondo, has revealed that Governor Rotimi Akeredolu was the one who ordered the management of tertiary schools in the state to increase their tuition.
It would be recalled that the school authority announced increment in tuition fee from N33,000 to between N180,000 and N220,000.
It was reported that Akeredolu issued the directive on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, when he inaugurated members of the Governing Boards of the Four Tertiary Institutions in Ondo.
Akeredolu, in his address, declared that the tuition fees paid in some of the state-owned tertiary institutions could only purchase a pair of shoe.
Akeredolu particularly urged the new boards to improve funding in the schools through the increment in tuition fee and endowment funds.
He said: “The education of our people is important to us. It is not easy to govern uneducated people.
“What we pay as tuition can buy a pair of shoe. The council members should look at it critically and advise us right.
“There is no other place in South West where they pay meagre tuition.
“People don’t want to hear it but we will say it, we are elected to take a decision, and that decision we will take.”
However, addressing a press conference on Sunday in Akure after a meeting with students union leaders and other stakeholders, AAUA Pro-Chancellor/Chairman Governing Board, Tunji Abayomi explained the increment.
“The total income of the university from students and government is N2.7billion.
“Looking at the expenditure of the institution, with the 17,000 students, we have an average of N500 being spent on each student daily, which amount to N15,000 per month and N180,000 per year and if you multiply that by 17,000, you will get N3.60billion, that isustainsthe students and campus life.
“The Salary is N220million per month and multiply by twelve you will get N2.40billion and if you now add the expenses on the students and to sustain the campus life,w hich is N3.60billion and the salary, which is N2.40 billion, you will now have N5.7billion ,t hat is the minimum amount to sustain the university.
“If you subtract the income of the university (N2.7billion) from the expenditure (N5.7billion) we have an exposure of N3billion.
“We now said we should divide this amount between the students and their parent and the council. That the council should look for money everywhere from Foundations, talking to people and other sources.
“We said that the council should get N1.290billion, while the students should look for N1.700billion. That is the basis in which we increase the school fees,” The Politico quoted him as saying.
He announced that new students in faculties of Arts and Education would pay N75,000 per semester and N150,000 per session, while returning students would pay N60,000 per semester and N120,000 per session.
New students of the Faculties of Agriculture, Science, Social and Management sciences would pay N90,000 per semester and N180,000 per session, while their returning counterparts would be made to pay N75,000 per semester and N150,000 per session.
Abayomi also stated that new students in the Faculty of Law would pay N100,000 per semester and N200,000 per session,w hile returning students in the faculty would pay N75,000 per semester and N150,000 per session.
He disclosed that in 2016, the university did not receive any subvention from the state government for seven months, thereby leaving the institution to run on past savings.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Commissioner of Police in Ondo, Olugbenga Adeyanju, told newsmen in Akure that only minimal force was used during the protest.
“To the glory of God, with the cooperation of my command and the good people of Ondo State, we have managed the crisis very well.
“If anyone was shot as claimed by the students, you journalists who are closer to the public would have confirmed it.
“I was there personally and even the whole command closed down since the start of this protest so as to put the situation under control. Nobody was shot and no one was injured.
“Naturally, it is ma inimum force. I claim the responsibility. I ordered that tear gas should be used to disperse them, I gave the instruction.
“There was a pregnant woman who was on her way to the hospital to deliver a baby, she was bleeding profusely and she was blocked from moving.
“We have to clear the road to enable her gto et to the hospital before it’s too late.
“People who are coming from the bank and those going into the bank were prevented from doing so and as security officers, it behoves on us to clear the road for them, hence the need for the minimum force,” he said.