The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has cried out that the Management of DS Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, Itori, Ogun State, was making secret moves to increase tuition fees and to extort students through the introduction of other ‘illegal’ charges.
However, the management of the polytechnic said there was nothing secretive about its plan to increase tuition fees as it had requested for upward review of the fees through a proposal sent to the Ogun State Ministry of Education Science and Technology; which is yet to get a reply.
But NANS said the polytechnic was trying to make life more difficult for indigent students.
According to NANS, students running their ND programme would now pay N61,000 instead of the current N55,000, while those running their HND programme would have their fees hiked from N71,000 to N76,000.
NANS has since rejected the increase in tuition fees by the polytechnic; alleging that, “we are not unaware of a tactical threat to the students if they dare speak up against their suffering state in the institution.”
The Nigerian students also alleged that, “the school management has also indulged in ‘modernised extortions’ which have been tagged different names such as:
Sundry fee – N12,000
Developmental fee – N15,000
Fine for late submission of file – N10,000
Updating of file – N5,000.”
NANS said it had “investigated and discovered that the increase and the new charges were true, saying it opposed the development in its entirety.
The students body said, “We are also aware of the move by the Rector, Prof. Olufemi Fatade, to pocket the Students Union after holding a meeting with the union’s executive on Wednesday. We are assuring that, against all odds, NANS will not mortgage the trust of the students in their mother body especially, the children of the poor.”
Azeez Adeyemi, NANS Public Relations Officer in a statement said the National President of NANS, Com Danielson Bamidele Akpan, had delegated a six-man panel of comrades and national executive members to meet with the polytechnic management on Monday to ensure that status quo remains.
The statement reads inter alia: “Our attention has been called to the decision of the Ogun State-owned DS Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic to increase its tuition fees by N5,000.
“We have investigated and discovered that the increase was true, the development that NANS opposes in its entirety.
“We, however, appeal to the Rector of the institution, Prof. Olufemi Fatade to immediately see to the immediate reversal of the management’s decision on the increment as we hold him in high esteem.
“Of the thirteen tertiary institutions in the state, we have discovered that none is thinking of doing such at this critical time, except DS Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic.
“We, however, request that the amount of the tuition fees be reversed to status quo effecting from this semester in the institution.”
Why we requested for N5,000 increase in tuition fees – Registrar
When we contacted the management of DS Adegbenro ICT Polytechnic, our correspondent was informed that adding N5,000 to the tuition fees became necessary if the institution is to maintain its existence.
Speaking with our correspondent, the Registrar, Mr Bayo Ogundimu, informed that the polytechnic had, after considering a lot of factors sent a letter to government, requesting for the upward review of tuition fees. He, however, said the request had not been granted.
Ogundimu revealed that the polytechnic had been self-sustaining in a way, since its creation in 2006; saying it gets N5m monthly subvention from government and it has to pay salaries of staff.
According to him, lecturers of the institution are being owed four months salaries. This, he said, was as a result of lack of funds as “the wage bill alone is about N27m monthly.”
He added that the ICT polytechnic now has more courses accredited, thereby, increasing the wage bill.
According to him, “the Gov Dapo Abiodun-led government is just settling down and it will be too early to belabour it with too much requests. We also know the government has a lot before it. That is why this increase becomes indispensable. We know there are many indigent students, but what do we do?”
On other fees, Ogundimu clarified that Developmental fee is for HND 1 students only; while Sundry fee, he said, was a combination of many fees like library, GNS, sending of result through the portal and others; adding that file updating and late submission of file are mainly for students, especially outgone ones, who defaulted in completing their registration or failed to possess the registration file.
“We introduced all these compliments of fees so as to be able to meet our overhead. Apart from the N5m, there’s no other thing coming from government. We are pushing for the upward review of the subvention, even when we know government has a lot of demands on its neck.”
Asked if he sees government approving the proposal for upward review of tuition fees, considering the public outcry it has generated, Ogundimu said, “I can’t speak for government. Except government sits on it and gives us a reply.”