Lawan meets with education regulators over alleged tuition hike

Senate Speaker Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday held a meeting with heads of education sector regulatory agencies to ease simmering tension over an alleged tuition hike in some educational institutions superior.

Attending the meeting were the Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Prof. Paulinus Chijoke Okwelle and Hajia Bilkisu Salihijo Ahmad representing the National Council for Technical Education (NBTE).

The Senate Speaker told his guests that he called the meeting as a follow-up to an earlier engagement he had last week with the Coalition of Northern Groups – Student Wing, which had filed a complaint about a plan by some higher education institutions to raise tuition fees. .

“We felt that we actually had a duty to listen to our students and of course also to hear from you because we have to establish beyond reasonable doubt what the situation is,” Lawan said.

The President of the Senate warned that “whatever the situations we find ourselves in, we must not do anything that could jeopardize the position of our students, especially at such a difficult time.

“We understand that our higher education institutions need more resources, but we also understand that our students are mostly from very poor backgrounds and we need to do everything we can to protect those who are so vulnerable.

“Funding for their education should never stand between them and achieving their dreams. So we need to find out how this situation is and we take appropriate action.

“Because you represent the oversight bodies of our higher education institutions, we felt that we should start with you, listen to you and then we can now find a way out of this.”

He assured the students that the National Assembly and even the government would always work to protect and support them in pursuing their studies.

Responding on behalf of his other colleagues, NUC Executive Secretary Prof. Rasheed commended the Senate Speaker for his timely intervention.

“Your concern is shared by all of us. It will be, at this stage, difficult to know exactly which universities are infringing and which are not. But after this meeting, we will consult all the Universities with a template to fill in and we will say exactly what charges they have.

“We will advertise. If we are misled, we can come to know. We understand that universities cannot be forced to charge uniform fees across the country because they have different demands and come from different situations.

“It is possible that a university in Lagos or Port Harcourt will charge a little more than universities in some rural areas. But there should be a base.

“One university cannot charge N20,000 while the other charges Nigerian students N150,000 where tuition has been free since 1978 at the undergraduate level.

“We are glad that you have now given this alarm in time and I will come back immediately, consult with the Vice-Chancellors and if possible we will bring them to a meeting to discuss the resolution we will arrive at, at the end of this meeting” , said the professor. said Rashid.

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