ON THE OUTRAGEOUS FEES AT THE OSUN STATE UNIVERSITY
The outrageous schedule of payable fees recently rolled out by the management of Osun State ‘Universities’ has only brought to the fore, once more, the earlier suspected deceitful and ill conceived intention of the Governor Oyinlola government in setting up the university in the first instance.
It will be recalled that the governor, perhaps acting in good faith then, by alleging financial insufficiency, had earlier resisted all entreaties calling upon him to honour his campaign promises by establishing the university
All of a sudden, however, financial ‘sufficiency’ appeared from the blue and the governor, in one fell swoop, established the university just few weeks away from the governorship election of April 14, 2007.
Hence, the apparently deceitful after thought decision did not only strike many as a surprise but also attracted fierce criticisms, arising from the reasonableness or otherwise of the six multi campuses nature of the university.
Ever since the ‘establishment’, however, the unsuspecting and helpless Nigerian students have become the victims of extortions for which the processes of getting admission into the university have become.
The first avoidable extortion was to make over a hundred thousands of students obtain the application forms for not more than five thousand vacancies.
Following this was the compulsory sale of N500 scratch card to the same students in their thousands at the screening centre for the purpose of subsequently checking the result of the applications they had earlier paid N3000 each for.
As if these were not enough, the management has just rolled out a schedule of school fees ranging from N182, 500 to N192, 500 per academic session depending on course of study and indigeneship status of the student.
This, to say the least, is outrageous, callous and quite contemptuous of the economic reality of Nigeria in general and Osun State in particular.
After all, the university is a state-owned institution where ready subsidy and good will are already presumed. Even in Lagos State, the economic hub of the entire country, the Lagos State University only charges as far less as ranging from N20,000-N30,000 only for both the indigene and non indigene students respectively.
As a matter of fact, there is no any other state-owned university in Nigeria today that charges as outrageous as it is proposed at the ‘universities’ of Osun State.
Even at the states-owned Ladoke Akintola University , Ogbomoso, where Osun State is a managing partner, they charge as less as between N20- N30, 000 per academic session. These UNIOSUN fees can, in fact, compete favourably with those at some of the private universities in the country.
Meanwhile, the craze for funds by all means and in all manners by the Osun State Government via its agent/management of UNIOSUN can be attributed to the fact that the university obviously had neither structural facilities (save its six landed sites) whatsoever nor certified funds for its take-off as at the time license was hurriedly obtained for it. This, has no doubt, called into question the integrity of such people as Professor Peter Okebukola amongst other promoters of the ‘Universities’ of Osun State.
All the above therefore have given rise to some salient questions the Osun State Government must honestly answer now. Did or does Osun State have the financial wherewithal to establish a mono campus not to even talk of a multi-campus university?
If the governor’s answer is positive, then, why would the state make the helpless admission hungry Nigerian students and their impoverished parents to outrageously bear the burden of establishing the university?
Of what purpose is the mandatory monthly deduction of five per cent from each of the 30 local governments in the state for the singular purpose of the same university? Honest answers to these questions amongst others, will no doubt, shed some lights on the raised issues.
LATEEF, Misbau Alamu, Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
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