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We Rejected FG’s Plan of N1m Undergraduate Fees – ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has disclosed that it rejected plans by the Federal Government to hike the school fees of undergraduate students across the country to N1 million per session.

Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU National President, disclosed this while answering questions from participants at a one-day ‘state of the nation summit’ organised for ASUU members by the Bauchi zone of the union recently.

According to Osodeke, the plan of the government was to create an education bank and give each student a loan of N1m annually at five per cent interest rate to sponsor themselves in school and then pay back when they graduate and start working.

He said: “At the last negotiation, the first thing they told us was that we should negotiate for our allowances and salaries but we said no, let’s discuss funding first. When we know how much you’re going to pay, then we can negotiate salary. Reluctantly, they went on.

“Then, they raised another issue which was why we delayed for four years, that students must pay N1m as school fees every year; the government said 70 per cent will be paid to the university while the student keeps 30 per cent.

“We asked them where and how the students would source the money and they told us not to worry. They said they would open an education bank and the students would go there and take the N1m every year.

“And by the time you are graduating, you would have been owing N5m or N6m. If it takes you 20 years to get a job, that five per cent interest on that loan would be building.”

Osodeke revealed that ASUU rejected the offer, saying that the Nigerian people would have accused them of fighting for their personal interests, and not the collective good of all citizens, had the offer been accepted and implemented.

He said: “we said we will never allow that, and that was why we went on strike and we delayed in calling off the strike.

“If we had accepted that students pay N1m as school fees, they would have increased our pay easily and who would the public and the students blame? It is ASUU.”

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