An educationist, Dr Oluwatosin Adebayo says the Federal Government lacks the capacity to provide free education to all Nigerians. He further urged the government to allow federally-owned universities to charge tuition fees.
The Federal government as part of efforts at promoting free education had in 2018 barred all Federal universities from charging tuition fees.
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To this end, Adebayo, who is the African Regional President of Scholarship Aids Initiatives, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), advised the government to introduce the payment of tuition fees in federally-owned universities to meet the demands of the striking lecturers and end the ongoing strike embarked on by members of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU).
He made the statement while speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, at the 2022 Stakeholders’ Forum and Presentation of Scholarship Awards to over 1,000 indigent admission seekers from the South-West region of the country.
Speaking on the theme: “Incessant Strike Action In The Tertiary Institutions: The Present And Future Effect On Nigeria Education And Economic System”, he submitted that although education remains the right of every Nigerian, the government does not have the capacity to make it free for all.
Adebayo further argued that free education, especially at the tertiary institution level is no longer achievable in the country, hence Federal owned universities must charge tuition to augment the subventions coming from the government.
Adebayo lamented that the strike has never made any positive impact but destroyed the education sector.
“We have never seen any positive impact that this strike method has brought out. I believe that there should be other ways in which ASUU and the government come together and resolve their differences.
“Strike is not the best solution because it is killing our educational system, the system is going down, our certificates are not being recognized anywhere any longer and we keep on deceiving ourselves.
“I’m a lecturer as well and we have suggested many things to resolve the crisis instead of strike. Part of what we have suggested is that students of Federal universities should be paying school fees. Students of Federal universities don’t pay tuition fees.
“Education is expensive, the Federal government must allow students of Federal universities to pay school fees. The parents are ready to pay and the money generated from this school can be used to finance whatever the problem is”, Adebayo said.