Delivered by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bamitale Omole on Tuesday, 3rd June, 2014 at 9.00am at the Campus of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife)
Protocols, Gentlemen of the Press, you are all welcome to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and to this Press Conference which, specifically is being held to brief the general public on the various developments in regard to the upward review of students’ charges in our University and why the review has become inevitable.
This Press Conference is also to correct some misinformation, misrepresentation of facts as well as fallacious manipulation of figures which our students released to the general public during their recent protest with a view to blackmail the University Administration and obfuscate the real issues at hand.
Gentlemen of the Press, kindly permit me to go down memory lane in order to give you the historical perspective of the old regime of charges. It was 10 years ago, precisely during 2004/2005 academic session that the University Administration last reviewed the charges that were paid by all categories of students in the University. The charges paid then, which were in line with the economic realities of that time, are the charges still being paid to date. It is evident that the current economic realities have made those charges unrealistic and unsustainable.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is to inform the general public, particularly parents and guardians of our students, that in view of the need to continue to provide quality and competitive education for our students and the need to maintain infrastructural facilities in the University, the authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, deemed it necessary to review those charges upward, if she is to maintain her position as a foremost university in Nigeria.
It is pertinent to say that before this review, the charges being paid by the students of our University were not only the lowest in the entire Nigerian University system but also the most ridiculous in the entire tertiary educational system in Africa. The table below contains details of the charges being paid by students of Obafemi Awolowo University per session for ten consecutive years before the current review.
CHARGES PAID BY OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY STUDENTS FOR 10 YEARS!
Faculty/Programmes Charges Per Session Accommodation Per Session
Administration, Arts, Education, Social Sciences & Law N5,300.00(five thousand three hundred naira only) N2,590.00 (two thousand five hundred and ninety naira only) (N90.00 – Accommodation Charges and N2,500.00 for Hall Maintenance)
Science N7,800.00(seven thousand eight hundred naira only)N2,590 (two thousand five hundred and ninety naira only)
Agriculture, Environmental Design & Management & Technology N10,300.00(Ten thousand three hundred naira only)N2,590 (two thousand five hundred and ninety naira only)
Medicine, Dentistry, Medical Rehabilitation and NursingN12,800.00(Twelve thousand eight hundred naira only)N2,590.00 (two thousand five hundred and ninety naira only)
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, you will agree with me that there is no university in any part of the world, where university students pay N5,300, N7,800, N10, 300 and N12,800 per session for education and N2,590 for accommodation per session, which our students have being paying for 14 years running!
The University therefore considered it imperative to take further action at this point in time if our University must continue to be reckoned with in the committee of great universities in the provision of quality and competitive academic curricula and up-to-date infrastructural facilities. Indeed, the University Administration did a comparative analysis on the regime of charges in other Federal universities in the country and it was discovered that the charges paid by students in OAU were not only ridiculously low but have become very unsustainable if our University is to survive. In addition to the foregoing, the following reasons have therefore made it imperative for the new regime of charges to be introduced:
1.The cost of providing education has risen worldwide.
2.Inflation has eaten deep into the allocation to the University from the Government and therefore makes the current charges paid by students unsustainable.
3.Online registration/verification of student data/information/certificates, which is cost intensive, has been introduced to cut down on the wastage of resources and the time students use to queue endlessly for verification in their different Faculties.
4.The need to have resources to purchase chemicals, equipment, consumables, current books, periodicals, journals and Internet facilities so that our students will be well trained and make employable in the intellectual market of the 21st century which has become very competitive.
Additionally, the general public should know that the University pays millions of naira monthly as electricity bill aside from the millions of naira paid on purchase of diesel, treatment of potable water, repairs of facilities, maintenance of halls of residence and general municipal upkeep. For instance, Obafemi Awolowo University paid the sum of N30 million naira for electricity alone in the month of April, 2014 of which over 70% of the consumption is utilized regularly by students who pay nothing for municipal upkeep etc.!
Consequently, in view of the high cost of running the University and to ensure that our students are provided qualitative and competitive education in an enabling academic environment, the Senate, as well as the University Governing Council, after due and exhaustive deliberation of all issues, approved the charges for FRESH STUDENTS as indicated below:
NEW CHARGES FOR FRESH STUDENTS: 2013/2014 SESSION
Faculty/ Programmes Charges Per Session
LAW/ARTS/SOCIAL SCIENCES/ADMIN/EDU. ARTS N43,700 Per Session
SCIENCE/EDM/EDUC. SCIENCE/TECH/AGRICN 54,700 Per Session
MEDICINE/PHARMACY/HEALTH SCIENCES N57,700 Per Session
Indeed, when compared with other Federal universities, Obafemi Awolowo University’s charges are still among the lowest and most equitable in the Nigerian university system.
The University Administration is not insensitive to the plight of the poor, as being peddled, in arriving at the current charges. Indeed, in order to assist the poor but brilliant students, the Senate of the University has also set up a Student Education Relief Committee where scholarships, grants, opportunities for work study will be provided for this set of students.
A Development Levy of Eighteen thousand naira (N18,000.00) is paid once and for all by fresh students throughout the duration of their studentship in the University.
Sequel to the decision of Senate, returning undergraduate students, though not affected by the new regime of charges, expressed concern and this led to series of meetings and interactions of the University Administration with the Student Union leaders-elect comprising the Central Executive Council, the leadership of the Student Representative Council, the Hall Executive Councils, Association of Campus Journalists and other stakeholders. At the three interactive sessions with the student representatives, the students initially insisted that there should be no increase in charges at all that they had been paying for 10 years, but when they later realized how ludicrous their position was, they eventually pleaded for a reduction in the charges and the University Administration considered the pleas again and effected some reductions in the charges of fresh students. In spite of the concessions that brought about the final figures that 99% of parents have paid, the student representatives still engaged in street protests, blocking Ibadan – Akure Express Way and feeding and spinning the public with all sort of lies in the print and electronic media.
For Returning Undergraduates,the Senate of the University responsibly considered a new regime of charges which, after further consideration by the University Governing Council, approved as indicated in the table below:
NEW CHARGES FOR RETURNING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: 2013/2014 SESSION
Faculty/Programmes Charges Per Session
LAW/ARTS/SOCIAL SCIENCES/ADMIN/EDU. ARTS N19,700 Per Session
SCIENCE/EDM/EDUC. SCIENCE/TECH/AGRIC N30,700 Per Session
MEDICINE/PHARMACY/HEALTH SCIENCES N33,700 Per Session
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, these are the facts of the matter.
Therefore, any figure in circulation in the social electronic or print media different from the figures in these tables should be totally discountenanced and treated with odium.
Finally, the University authorities hereby solicit the understanding and support of parents, guardians and the general public as they join hands with the University to continue to provide the best education for their children/wards so that they can be employable and competitive in the intellectual market of the 21st Century.
Thank you for listening.
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
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