By Michael Alabi
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, has assured that no student of the university – fresh or returning- will drop out of the university as a result of the hike in fees.
She disclosed this during a virtual press briefing on Saturday.
Ogunsola explained that the increment is unavoidable to continue running the university and to continue delivering quality education.
Students of the university have been protesting the decision of the university to increase fees payable from N26,000 and about N76,000 to between N120,750 and N240,250 depending on
the courses of study and level of the students.
According to Ogunsola, the university has a population of 35,000 undergraduate, postgraduate students, and “the cost of running the institution has astronomically gone up as a
result of the high inflation in the country, removal of subsidy on petroleum, among other
Nevertheless, to ensure that students do not drop out of the university, Ogunsola stated the university will adopt measures such as scholarship opportunities, work-study programmes, and installment payment options.
Ogunsola highlighted that the university is “failing on its many obligations”, particularly in terms of staff welfare and this is leading to a “tsunami of resignations” by both academic and non-academic workers.
She said the university’s incapability to support staff to continuously improve themselves to give back to students has continued to impede quality service delivery.
“Now we have staff that do not feel the impact of the university. A lot of staff are very upset because they are not being taken care of by the university. They are resigning in droves. This past week, five people resigned and it is a tsunami of resignation here,” she said.
Furthermore, Ogunsola said that despite the government paying the salaries of the university workers, the funds generated in a year could not run the university successfully for a month.
She said the university gets N150m per annum as an overhead cost, while the university’s electricity bill is about N1.7 billion per annum excluding other expenses.
“Apart from electricity, we verify results by examination bodies for over N3,000 per student, and we conduct examinations that cost about N80 million per year. Each of the faculty incurs another N3.5 million. So for examinations alone, we do roughly N140 million annually.”
“62 million is paid for the accreditation of our programmes every year. The student payment
doesn’t even cover our electricity bill”, she added.
On the measures taken to ease payment of fees, Ogunsola said it includes an installment payment option, scholarship, revitalisation of a work-study programme, assistance to indigent students, and partnership with Lagos Bus Rapid Transport System.
The university said: “The fee payment system has been re-configured to allow the installment
payment option three times before the closure of the academic year.
“The student work-study programme has been revitalised to accommodate increased remuneration. Interested students can access the programme through the office of the dean of
the student affairs division.
“Students have the opportunity to access various scholarship opportunities including the
UNILAG Scholars Award for exceptionally brilliant students, through the office of the Dean,
Student Affairs Division.”
Also, the university said with the support of its donors, it has expanded its assistance programme for eligible destitute students. This includes the provision of funds, meal tickets,
and raw food items.
The university highlighted the “Triple A Project” for alumni and well-meaning Nigerians to adopt a student. Adding that the university has deployed the “Pay for Mentors Project” for smart students.
“Through this project, exceptionally brilliant students selected as mentors for other students will get adequate remuneration,” it said.
To improve the ease of transportation, the university management said it has secured approval from Lagos State for an additional BRT dedicated route for persons who come from the Berger Bus Stop axis of Lagos State, while they are in discussions to have other routes such as Oshodi and Iyana Ipaja included.