Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Abia State Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has yielded to the demands of the member representing Bende North in the State House of Assembly, Hon Chijioke Chukwu, and students of Abia State University (ABSU) by reducing school fees payable by students of Abia origin in the institution.
The Governor had last week announced that his administration would pay each student of Abia origin of ABSU, N30,000 to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on them and their parents.
Hon Chukwu, however, advised Ikpeazu to jettison the idea and rather reduce the school fees payable by students, expressing concerns that the exercise could be laced with fraud.
Equally, Abia students in ABSU under the aegis of Abia Joint Students Leaders had appealed to Ikpeazu to reverse his decision and instead covert the sum to their fees and deduct same from source, a move they said will be more impactful to them.
Ikpeazu, in a verified Twitter, handle at the weekend, posted that he had directed the management of ABSU to deduct the N30,000 pocket money for students of Abia origin from their school fees and credit them accordingly.
‘I’ve directed the management of Abia State University, Uturu, to deduct the N30,000 pocket money for students of Abia origin from their school fees as widely requested by the students. We’ll continue to listen and do whatever is necessary to ensure our high flying students excel.’
ABSU authorities had earlier announced that the returning students should pay the sum of N15,000 as COVID-19 prevention fee; but following the wide outcry, this was scraped by the governor who instead promised to pay each student of Abia origin N30,000.
It is not yet clear if this largesse would be extended to Abia students in other institutions of higher learning in the State.