With politics in the air and with eyes on the governorship election, the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has slashed the tuition fees of students of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko.
Mr Akeredolu, on assumption of office in 2017, did an upward review of the tuition fees of the institution, a development which attracted several protests from the body of students and parents as well.
He had argued that what the students were paying could not enable the provision of quality education to the students.
With the controversy refusing to die since then, political opponents had latched on to it, using it as a political tool against the government.
The governor, who is running on the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, had hinted last week that he would consider a downward review of the fees, after it became an item of debate and a campaign point for the opposition.
Political parties and their candidates have promised to review the Akeredolu increases in the fees paid by students in tertiary institutions and in the state-owned health facilities.
In a circular to all students on Thursday signed by the acting registrar and secretary to the council, Opeoluwa Akinfemiwa, the acting vice-chancellor, Olugbenga Ige, was directed to inform all returning students of the reduction in the fees.
The memo noted that the cut in the fees followed an earlier appeal by students and in view of the economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country on parents and students.
It said Mr Akeredolu had directed that the university should consider a reduction in tuition fees in a way that quality education could still be sustained in the university.
“As a follow up to the above, a meeting between the governor, the university and the student leaders was convened,” the circular partly read.
“Consequently, the Visitor has approved the underlisted reduction of tuition fees with effect from the 2019/2020 academic session, as recommended by Council.”
Details of the reduction as contained in the circular:
Returning students of the Department of Sciences had their fees reduced from N150,000 to N120,000.
The same cut applies to returning students in the Social & Management Sciences.
Students in Agriculture will now pay N100,000 instead of N150,000.00; Arts also will pay N80,000 instead of N100,000.
In Education, students will pay N80,000 as against N100,000 earlier scheduled.
However, the governor did not reduce the fees of those in Law; as it still remains N150,000.
“All students are therefore advised to take advantage of the reduced fees by paying their school fees and registering for their courses without further delay.
“By copies of this circular, all deans, heads of department and stakeholders are requested to note this information, please.”
In spite of this, the governor is still receiving knocks for reintroducing levies at health centres and maternity centres, which were abolished by the previous administration of Olusegun Mimiko.