Contrary to popular belief, the fees being paid in Nigeria’s private universities are still relatively low, the Pro-Chancellor of Lead City University, Ibadan, Prof. Jide Owoeye, has said.
Mr. Owoeye, who is also the Chairman of the university’s Council, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan that the fees being paid in private institutions were relatively low compared to their public counterparts which receive billions of naira in government subvention.
He said: “The cost per head of student in University of Ibadan or University of Lagos for example cannot be less than N700,000 when you are talking about Arts courses or Basic Social Sciences courses.
“But when it comes to courses like Medicine, Engineering, government is spending nothing less than N1.5million on each of the students, but the students do not know this because they are not paying.
“Those students that attend public universities are not attending for free. Somebody is paying. It is you and I, the tax payers, that are paying because that money could have been spent on something else like electricity, but it is a function of opportunity cost.”
According to Mr. Owoeye, only very few private universities in Nigeria charge over one million naira in fees for certain courses.
“In our own case, the highest fee is about N500,000; we have fees as low as N100,000 in the Faculty of Arts for courses like Performing Arts as well as English and Literary Studies.
“But people don’t know because they don’t come and find out in the belief that private universities must be expensive.
“We really must thank JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, who has made it possible for people to find out what is happening in private universities.
“We have state universities which charge higher fees than ours. But we think quality can be guaranteed if resources are well managed and if you have good enrolment.
“Go to Ghana, you pay an average of 6,000 dollars as school fees. Ghana is a third world country, it is not as developed as Nigeria.
“The universities in Ghana are not as developed as those in Nigeria.
“The best public university in Ghana is Legon (University of Ghana, Legon), but it cannot match our own premier university, University of Ibadan.
“Yet people run there for reasons I cannot understand; it may be they don’t have the information they need,” he said.