The Oyo state governorship candidate of African Democratic Party (ADC) in 2019 election, Senator Olufemi Lanlehin (SOLAN), has condemned in strong terms, the recent hike in tuition payable by students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho.
He described the action as anti-people, inconsiderate, and a continuation of the direct assault on public education by the ruling APC governments in the owner states of Oyo and Osun.
This was contained in a statement by his media assistant, Damola Adeoye.
Recall that in a mail forwarded to students recently, it was announced that though resumption date for Harmattan Semester of 2018/2019 Academic Session was Monday, 29 October, 2018, a new regime of tuition fees had also taken effect.
While Oyo and Osun indigenes were expected to pay N200,000 (Two hundred thousand Naira), non-indigenes were to pay N250,000 (Two hundred and fifty thousand Naira). These increases, from the initial N63,500 (Sixty-three thousand, five hundred Naira) and N72,500 (Seventy-two thousand, five hundred Naira) respectively, represents over 200% hike.
“Senator Lanlehin believes this development, coming on the heels of the institution’s incapacity to defray almost a year’s salaries and promotion arrears, resulting in several closures and threats of closures, high point of which was the 16-month industrial action suspended on 23 October, 2017, is a further confirmation of the neglect and apathy continuously being showed the institution by the owner states
“And a confirmation that the APC led government in the two states have no plans at all for the people, rather, is concerned with perpetuating poverty through withdrawing affordable and qualitative education from their reach. How best can one explain government’s directive for an academic institution to be self-funding?”, he queried.
“Senator Lanlehin wonders where the two state governments, notorious for owing salaries, pensions and gratuities, as well as emasculating their respective states’ economies want parents to source the money from. “Any government that refuses to adequately fund public education, but rather rejoices in embarking on white elephant projects, is insensitive, and not in tune with modern trends of human capital as major driver of accelerated development”, he added.
He, however, promised LAUTECH students, parents and workers, that as one who truly appreciates scholarship, and having served as the institution’s Pro Chancellor and Chairman of Council, he understands their plight perfectly, and is in fact, poised to change the fortunes of that institution, and indeed all Oyo state-owned institutions through proper funding, once elected Governor come 2019 under the ADC banner, to prevent inhuman tuition hikes like this.