A lawmaker in Oyo State, Wunmi Oladeji, on Tuesday decried the decision of the management of Ladoke Akinola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, to increase its school fees by 300 per cent.
Oladeji, a member of the Oyo State Assembly, representing Ogbomoso North State Constituency, said spoke under a matter of urgent public importance at the plenary session.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Governing Council of LAUTECH had on Friday approved the increment in tuition of students of the university from 100 Level to 400 Level.
Oladeji, who described the increment as astronomical, said that the university’s management approach of attempting to generate income was unjustifiable, insensitive and anti-masses.
She said: “The increment is contrary to cardinal objectives of making education accessible to all indigenes of Oyo and Osun, the two owner states of the institution.
“It has become a thing of concern that the institution has raised its school fees by over 300 per cent based on a recent circular released by the university management.
“School fees for all categories of students have been raised from between N65, 000 and N70, 000 to between N200, 000 and N300, 000.”
According to her, the high percentage increase will result in a huge decline in number of educated indigents.
Oladeji said that the decision would discourage many to pursue tertiary education as many parents could not afford the exorbitant fees.
She said: “The astronomical increase will be a huge burden to most parents, majority of whom are civil servants, petty traders and peasant farmers.
“We are all aware that public university is the last hope of the common man, who especially, cannot afford the fees paid in the private institutions.”
Oladeji appealed to the two houses of assembly, Oyo and Osun, to meet with the Governing Council of the university, urging it to reconsider the decision in the best interest of indigent students.
The Speaker, Olagunju Ojo, however, suspended debates on the matter, saying that the Joint Committee on Education of both Houses of Assembly should investigate the issue first.
Ojo, however, appealed to students of the institution to put their planned protests to oppose the increment on hold.
He said that the owner states of the institution would look into the issue and find lasting solutions to the dilemma.
The speaker said that this was to prevent another shut down of the school, which could take several months to resolve.