Authorities of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, have come out to refute claims  by some individuals that the university has unilaterally increased school fees for 2014/2015 academic session in the ivory tower.

The ABUAD Head, Public Relations, Mr. Tunde Olofintila, made this known on Monday, in a statement entitled “Alleged N1m increase in school fees: a clarification.”

Olofintila noted that the alleged report of increment in the university was not only misleading but also a distortion of facts.

He said, “Our attention has been drawn to some unwarranted comments, particularly on the Internet and some Nigerian tabloids, by some individuals that the university has unilaterally increased school fees for 2014/2015 academic session. These individuals, with intent to misinform and mislead the public, deliberately distorted the facts and circumstances surrounding these fees.

“We would like to say very unambiguously that contrary to this spurious and unsubstantiated claim and for the records, we have not increased our school fees. We have not increased in any way the school fees for the 2014/2015 academic session for our medical programme or any programme for that matter.”

Olofintila, who explained that medical students of the school recorded 94 per cent in their MBBS examinations, also said the authorities of the university had committed billions of naira to expose them for further training at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti.

The university, he added, had bought equipment and laboratories just as it increased the number of teachers in its College of Medicine from 56 to 112.

He noted, “All we have done in tandem with standard practice everywhere in the world and to continue to maintain the high standard we are known for, is to charge commensurate fees for our students who are proceeding on clinical training after recording 94 per cent success in their first MBBS examinations. They would be proceeding to the ultra-modern Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti, where we have committed over N2.5bn to upgrade facilities, equipment and infrastructure for their clinical training, when they resume on March 6.

“The point must be made here that the medical students, who are proceeding on clinical training, have not paid any fees (whether for accommodation or tuition) since the beginning of the ongoing academic session. This is because we did not know who among the 65 in the pre-clinical class would be proceeding on clinical training to determine the fee that would be applicable to each and everyone – unlike what obtains in other universities.

“They were in the university for the first semester of this session without paying anything. It was the 94 per cent of the students that made it to the clinical class that were handed the new school fees in tandem with the new status and peculiarity of their training and no other students in any other programme whatsoever.

“Of course, both the university and the various stakeholders must all be appreciative of the fact that medical training, because of its peculiar nature, is expensive anywhere in the world.”

Insisting that the institution is one of the cheapest private universities in the country, Olofintila added that its founder provided scholarships to deserving students as well as subvention to its medical students.

He said, “In giving verve and vigour to our tradition of maintaining quality standard of education, the increase in the fee for clinical students becomes imperative and unarguably justifiable. In any case, when compared with three other private universities running medical programmes in the country, our fees remain the cheapest because of the N400, 000 subsidies, which the founder offers to every medical student in the university.

“It must equally be pointed out that despite the fact that we maintain a high standard in quality education comparable to the standard in good overseas universities, ours is more than 60 per cent cheaper than fees charged overseas.

“Like any good quality material, quality education is costly. All the same, ABUAD is prepared to consider hardship peculiar to any individual and work our payment schedule that will mitigate such peculiar hardship.

“The fee for our students going on clinical training is not peculiar to ABUAD as all other private universities, who are striving for higher standards, charge similar or even higher fees. But one thing is sure: you will get value for every naira you pay here.”

The university last January gave out N87.8m to members of staff and students for their diligence to duty and academic excellence.

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