Mr Shuaibu Miqati, a former governorship aspirant in Kaduna State under the People Democratic Party, has appealed to Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i to reverse tuition fees increase, in all state-owned tertiary institutions.
Miqati said in a statement in Kaduna on Monday, that education should not be made expensive at a time when citizens were faced with serious excruciating economic challenges and other related hardships.
He pointed out that the various efforts of the government to alleviate poverty were hardly making any positive impact on citizens.
According to him, the increase was unwarranted, ill-timed, and ill-advised, particularly coming from a government that promised compulsory, quality, free education at basic and post basic levels and affordable education at tertiary levels.
“Citizens of the world are just coming out of the economic meltdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to economic recession in the country.
“Kaduna State has been ravaged by bandits and killer herdsmen activities.
“The source of livelihood of the citizens, which is majorly from farming, in recent years is severely affected due to the incessant security challenges, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery, cattle rustling and thefts,” he noted.
He added that trading, another major source of income to many, had also been affected through payment of ransoms, which depleted the capital of traders.
Miqati also said that the urban renewal projects in the state capital and major towns, had led to the demolition of several markets, corner shops and other places of businesses by the state government.
“With the above scenario, one would have expected that the state government would tamper justice with mercy and delay the impending increase of the fees to a later date.
“This will have assisted parents, most of whom have either fallen victims to the recent right sizing exercises by the government, lost their businesses from the urbanisation project or paid ransom to kidnappers,” he said.
Miqati however said it would be unfair not to appreciate the reasons why the government took the action, but stressed that the scale of the increase needed to be reviewed urgently, particularly in the light of the current economic challenges.
He advised the government to adopt a gradual approach to the increase in the fees, adding that such actions would engender the citizens’ trust and confidence.
Miqati stressed that the massive increase would exacerbate the already difficult and precarious situation of the people.
“Many children may drop out of the schools, as many may not be able to register to continue with their studies.
“And the consequences of such unpalatable development may further worsen our already terrible security condition and poverty level,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the state government had in April, announced an upward review of tuition fees in all its tertiary institutions by a significant proportion.
In the Kaduna State University, fees for returning students were increased from N24,000 and N36,000 depending on the course of study, to N100,000 flat rate, irrespective of course of study.
For new students, the fee was increased to N150,000 for Art and Humanities and N171,000 for Sciences, while non indigenes would pay N221,000 minimum.
For Social Sciences, it was increased to N170,000, non indigenes N200,000, while indigenes admitted to study Medicine would pay N300,000 and non indigenes N400,000. (NAN)