EDUCATIONNEWS

Fee hike: UNILAG spends N1.7b on electricity annually, says VC

Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, has said the university spends N1.7 billion on electricity per annum.

Speaking at a virtual meeting with reporters on Saturday evening, Ogunsola noted that the institution was also struggling with huge debts and under pressure to survive, hence it was imperative to increase fees.

The VC said it was necessary to let the public know the state of affairs in the university following the outcry and recent protest that greeted the increment.

In July, the university increased tuition fees. Previously, students of the institution paid N19,000,but the management fixed new fees at N190,250 for students studying Medicine, while courses that require laboratory and studio, are to pay N140, 250.

Programmes that do not require lab and studio were fixed at N100, 750.

Ogunsola said the university had maintained its fees for 15 years without increment, but “with the harsh economic climate in the nation,it was imperative to increase,”she said.

She added that parents, students, university unions and other stakeholders were briefed in January on the need to increase fees.

She said even with the hike, there was still subsidy for students.

“We spend N1.7 billion on electricity per annum, despite the fact that our street lights are solar-powered and we use low-energy bulbs. Also, we have huge debts to pay. The harsh economic climate of the nation has affected the university, we should have been increasing our fees every year. We are under pressure to produce quality education,” she said.

The VC said despite getting N150 million every year for overhead running costs, maintenance of the university gulps huge amount of money.

“Maintenance of the university is where money is sinking. Hostel maintenance alone costs N500 million. The extra charges are to shore up dwindling government funds,” she said.

Ogunsola reiterated the university’s commitment to excellent service delivery, adding that no student will drop out because of the fee hike.

” The revitalisation of our Work Study Programme is ongoing. Students can now earn N500 per hour and they can work for 10 hours. Before,it was N200 per hour.Students can also register for the Indigent Student Package. Last year 600 students registered, over 200 were adopted. No student will drop out. We have made adequate provisions for indigent students,” she added.

On Wednesday, students of the university took to the streets to protest the hike in fees by the authorities.

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