Akeredolu defends hike in tuition fees of Ondo tertiary institutions, says students are happy and are ready to pay
ROTIMI Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming Saturday governorship election has defended the hike in tuition fees of tertiary schools in the state.
Akeredeolu defended the hike in fees for tertiary institutions in the state on Wednesday during the gubernatorial debate between him and Eyitayo Jegede candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), held in Akure, the state capital.
He stated that the increase was a necessary move to improve education in the state.
“This State has no business having three universities at the same time. If you are allowing N25,000, when we had two universities but when you now have three universities then it is a whole lot of responsibilities,” Akeredolu said.
The debate organised by Channels Television, in partnership with the Civil Society Elections Situation Room, UK AID with support from UK foreign commonwealth development office was anchored by Seun Okinbaloye.
“And I believe quite strongly for that matter that we are biting more than we can chew. If the students can come up with any fee of any state university in the Southwest that is lower than ours we will comply by reducing the current fees.”
“For now I don’t see any problem with that for me, the students are happy and are ready to pay,” said Akeredolu who was responding to the condemnation of the hike in tuition fee by his opponent, Jegede.
On assumption of office in 2017, Akeredeolu had carried out an upward review of the tuition fees of the state-owned tertiary institutions from between N25, 000 and N30, 000 to N120,000 and N180,000 respectively for state-owned tertiary institutions.
A protest was organised by the students of the affected institutions to show their displeasure but the State Government insisted that the economic reality necessitated the increment in the fees.
Eyitayo Jegede, who came in late for the debate when given the chance to speak on his educational plans for the state if elected had said that the State Government had no business increasing tuition fees.
“There should be no basis for the value of education if we say that, unless you find a state in the Southwest that is charging a lesser tuition fee, you cannot bring down tuition fees in the state.
“Some governments have given us free education in the Southwest of this country and we have benefited from it. It is because they had to prioritise one thing that should apply as the greatest benefit for the greatest masses of the people,” he said.
He stated that if elected his government will be known for bringing fresh ideas to the educational space in Ondo State.
“This is too much for the people and I will fix it if elected. I will bring new ideas and fresh ideas to improve things in Ondo state,” he said.