The House of Representatives Tuesday asked the National Universities Commission (NUC) to immediately suspend the implementation of an increase in universities’ tuition fees in the country.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep Aliyu Madaki (NNPP-Kano) at plenary.
Daily Trust in an exclusive report recently revealed how parents and students of some universities across the country have cried out over the hike in school fees, saying the development could worsen their economic pains and lead to mass students’ withdrawals.
The report indicated how many federal and state-owned universities have issued releases on upward adjustments of registration fees for courses being offered with some of the increment spiking as high as 300%.
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The lawmaker, in his motion, noted that federal universities across the country had increased their tuition fees up to 200 per cent while citing poor funding of tertiary education and rising inflation in the country.
He added that hostel fees were also increased.
Madaki said universities that hiked their fees included Bayero University, Kano (BUK), the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka; the University of Uyo, University of Maiduguri, and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, among others.
He expressed concern that the hike in fees by the universities came at the time the country was facing worsening poverty level, inflation, high rate of unemployment and fuel price hike due to subsidy removal.
The lawmaker said the increase could cause disruptions for many students who could not afford the fees, adding that while many of them would be forced to defer their studies, others could drop out.
He further said the hike could aggravate the already volatile situation in the country as students were already making threats that could lead to an uprising against the federal government.
This, he warned, could come with grievous consequences for the country.
He said an increased rate of university dropouts could further worsen insecurity in Nigeria as the frustrated students could find the wrong outlets to express their grievances.
The house, while adopting the motion, urged the NUC to immediately halt implementation of the increase of fees by federal universities.
It further mandated the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, when constituted, to investigate the increase of fees by federal universities across the country with a view to finding lasting solutions to the challenges in the tertiary education sector.