Lawan, agencies meet over alleged school fee hike

Senate President Ahmad Lawan held a meeting with heads of education sector regulatory agencies on Tuesday over an alleged increase in school fees at some tertiary institutions. The executive secretaries of the National Commission for Universities, Abubakar Rasheed, and that of the National Commission for Faculties of Education, Paulinus Okwelle, attended the meeting in Abuja. The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that Bilkisu Ahmad, who represented the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE), also attended the meeting. Mr. Lawan in his opening remarks said that he called the meeting to get first-hand information on an issue that could cause a crisis in the education sector if not addressed quickly. He said students had brought to his attention a planned increase in school fees at some tertiary institutions during his previous engagement with the student arm of the Northern Groups Coalition. “We feel like we actually have a duty to listen to our students and of course also hear from you because we need to establish beyond reasonable doubt what the situation is. “Whatever situation we find ourselves in, we must not do anything that jeopardizes the position of our students, especially at such a difficult time. “We understand that our tertiary institutions need more resources, but we also understand that our students are mostly from very poor backgrounds. “We must do everything we can to protect those who are so vulnerable. Funding their education should never stand between them and achieving their dreams,” said Mr. Lawan. He said that it was necessary for everyone to know the true situation of the alleged increases and take the corresponding measures to deal with it. ALSO READ: Nigerian university cuts school fees by 33 percent “This is because you represent the oversight bodies of our tertiary institutions, we feel we should start with you; listen to you and so now we can find a way out of this,” she said. Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Mr. Rasheed commended Mr. Lawan for his timely intervention. “Your concern is shared by all of us. At this point, it will be difficult to know exactly which universities are violating the rules. “But after this meeting, we will consult all the universities with a template to fill out and tell us exactly what positions they have. “We understand that universities cannot be forced to charge uniform fees throughout the country because they have different demands and come from different situations. “Possibly a college in Lagos or Port Harcourt may charge a little more than colleges in some rural areas, but there should be a baseline,” he said. According to him, “one university cannot charge N20,000 while the other charges N150,000”. “We are happy that you have now given this alarm in time and will return immediately, consult the vice-chancellors. “If possible, we will bring them into a meeting to discuss whatever resolution we come to at the end of this meeting,” Rasheed said. (YAYA) Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; Lawan, agencies meet over alleged school fee hike