The fees were increased from N25,000 to N197,000 for Arts and Humanities students, and N350,000 for medical students.
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday announced the reversal of the Lagos State University, LASU, fee to the old rate of N25,000 across board.
Mr. Fashola made the pronouncement at the 19th convocation ceremony of the higher degree award in Lagos.
The governor said he had met the State Executive Council on the issue and an approval to that effect had been made.
He said with the reduction, the university would run an uninterrupted academic calendar as the era of students spending extra days from their expected four years was over in the institution.
“With the increment in 2011, some busy bodies tried to use the opportunity to seek an undue attention and instigate unions and students against the management and the government,” he said.
Mr. Fashola also assured members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU, LASU chapter, that their issues would be addressed.
The union met the governor, chanting solidarity songs, to demand for the payment of their June and July salary, which was withheld by the government.
“Calm down, after the event, we would be meeting to resolve your demands,” he said.
Meanwhile, some LASU students who were protesting for further reduction on their fees went into jubilation after the reversal was announced.
The Student Union President, Nurudeen Yusuf, in an interview commended Mr. Fashola for his kind gesture.
“Today marks a significant day in the history of Lagos, with this development, we are optimistic that the future of Lagos is great,” he said.
Mr. Yusuf said that Mr. Fashola had proven that he was a listening leader by wiping the tears of the LASU students with the total reversal.
“It was unexpected because we proposed N46,000 but the governor surprised us by reversing the fee back to N25,000. It implies that no pain, no gain. We have suffered, now we will enjoy,” he said.
In the same vein, Chairman of the LASU branch of the Academic Union of Nigerian University, ASUU, Idris Adekunle, described the reversal of the fee as a “welcome development” adding that he is gladdened by it.
Mr Adekunle said though the havoc caused by the increase in school fee would linger for a while, its reversal is a victory for the downtrodden in Lagos who would now be able to afford tertiary education for their children.
“Many of the students who would have taken LASU have taken other universities. Many who were inside had gone to take another JAMB form and move to other universities. There is no doubt about that.
“However we believe even if we don’t get the benefit right now the next few years we would begin to see the benefit. The citizen of Lagos state would be able to afford tertiary education. That is the most important thing,” he said.
Mr Adekunle also thanked the student union for joining the struggle initiated by academic staff and for remaining resolute to the struggle despite attempts by the school authorities to break their ranks.
“ASUU-LASU started the struggle for the reduction of school fees but the great Lasuites came on stream with the struggle and they added a quality novel dimension to students’ struggle by the way they have prosecuted this struggle. The university administration used several means to break the student struggle including the manipulation of the student representative council to impeach the leadership of the present union. The lesson is that everyone must now see that nothing good comes easy. You have to struggle for the interest of the people that are coming behind.”
Mr. Fashola increased LASU fee from N25,000 to N197,000 for Arts and Humanities students, and N350,000 for medical students in 2011.
Following several protest from students and civil society groups, Mr. Fashola on June 11, announced a 34 per cent to 60 per cent reduction on the fee, respectively.
The university on June 19, announced the fees to be N76,750 for Arts and N158,250 for Engineering and College of Medicine students.
The Student Union Government, however, demanded for further reduction, claiming that the fee was still high and demanded N46,500 for returning students and N56,500 for new students across board.
LASU tuition fee was increased in 2005 from N250 to N25,000 under former governor, Bola Tinubu’s regime.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...