Ondo lawmakers disown Akeredolu on university fee hike

Ondo State House of Assembly has declared that the state governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, is acting alone on the recent 500 per cent increase in tuition fees for Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA).

This is even as students of the institution thronged the streets of Akure, the state capital, on Monday to protest the hike by the state government.

Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Mr Fatai Olotu, who spoke on behalf of the assembly, told journalists in Akure that the action of the state government was at variance with the submissions made at the meeting with the management of the institution.

He berated the school’s management for not being sincere with information given to the leadership of the house at the stakeholders meeting where the Pro-Chancellor said everybody’s interest would be considered.

“Ondo State House of Assembly will not be part of a policy or decision that would bring untold hardship on the people of the state,” he said.

The assembly called on the state government and the management of AAUA to review the decision to hike the school fees in the interest of the people and in keeping with the tenets of democratic practice.

The house rejected the schedule of fees, arguing that it was on the high side, considering the current economic hardship prevailing across the country.

Students of the institution, however, took their grievances to the streets on Monday and called on the state government to reverse the increases.

The protesting students marched through the popular Oba Adesida Road to Alagbaka in Akure, hampering the flow of traffic through the city.

They wielded placards bearing various inscriptions and chanted solidarity songs.

The students said the 500 per cent increase in their school fees was unacceptable as their parents would not be able to pay.

The students were also joined by their colleagues from other institutions who were mobilised into the state to show solidarity over the hike in the tuition fee.

They threatened dire consequences against the government if it failed to reverse the increase.

The new schedule of fees shows an increase from N25,000 to between N120,000 and N200,000.

President of the Student Union Government, Mr Olawale Ijanusi, said the protesting students were out to kick against the “astronomic hike” in the tuition by the government.

He described the new fees as outrageous and unacceptable to the students.

“We have directed all our students not to pay the new fees as the increment is too exorbitant to bear, and anyone who pays does that on his own,” Ijanusi said.

PT

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