Parents of students of the University of Jos have accepted to pay the reviewed school fees of N45,000, which represents a 67 per cent increase from the current N27,000.
The university, in a statement, signed by a Principal Assistant Registrar, Mr Abdullahi Abdullahi, indicated that the parents endorsed the new fee during a stakeholders meeting involving parents, guardians and the university management.
The statement quoted the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sabastian Maimako, as telling the stakeholders that the charges currently being paid by students were no longer realistic “in view of current economic challenges”.
“The situation is not peculiar to University of Jos; other Federal Government-owned universities are facing similar challenges owing to the competing demand on government’s limited resources.
“In order to harmonise the school charges, the Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), issued a directive in 2015, approving a new fee structure of N45,000.
“The fee is for each undergraduate student across board and is principally aimed at providing them with the basic learning materials and conducive learning environment,” Maimako was further quoted as saying.
The Vice Chancellor also listed other areas of huge expenditure to include payment for electricity, stationery and the provision of accreditation requirements.
Maimako regretted that management had been forced to abandon some projects because of the rising cost of running the university at a time that resources were dwindling.
He advised parents and stakeholders to ensure that school charges were paid at designated channels provided by the university, so as not to fall victims of fraudsters.
The Vice Chancellor also told the stakeholders that the school community was contributing monies to address some of its challenges, one of which was the restocking of the Library Complex burnt in October 2016.
“The university has launched ‘Operation Beauty from Ashes’ campaign, to raise funds to restock the Naraguta Campus Library.
“Principal officers of the school have contributed N1 million each, Deans and Directors, N200,000 each, students N1,000 each, while staff unions are paying lump sums,” he explained.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), however, reports that the students have protested against the rise in the fees.
The students, who took to the streets of Jos on Monday, to register their dissatisfaction with the new fee structure, said that the hike was not fair “in view of the economic recession”.
Miss Juliet James, a student of the Pharmacy Department, wondered why the students were not involved in the meeting even when they were those that would be affected by the decisions.
“They should have invited officials of the Students Union to contribute.
“When you call parents, many students will not even be represented because many of them pay their school fees by engaging in all manners of menial jobs,” she said.
Another student, Samuel Karshi, said that the parents that attended the stakeholders’ meeting were “too few” to represent the general interest and views of those that were not there.
“Paying the current fee of N27,000 has not been any easy. An upward review is certainly going to create more headache for us,” Karshi said. (NAN)