By Stanley Nwanosike
Enugu – The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has lauded move by the National Assembly to scrap acceptance fees in tertiary institutions nationwide.
The Vice-President of NANS (National Affairs), Mr Chidi Ilogebe, said this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Friday.
Ilogebe said that the attention of NANS had been drawn to a welcome motion moved by Chinedu Martins, asking Federal Ministry of Education and National University Commission (NUC), to abolish payment of acceptance fees in tertiary institutions.
He also commended Martins, representing Ahiazu-Mbaise/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency, House of Representatives, for leading the debate on the issue.
He noted that one of the factors contributing to the poor access to tertiary education was the predatory admission policy being enforced by tertiary institutions.
He said, “In the spirit of unwavering unity of the Nigerian students, we wish to highly commend Martins for moving a motion, which is in full consonance with the interest of the Nigerian students.
“We also wish to acknowledge the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila and other House members, we hope that with such men of uncommon purpose in the House, this bill is sure to be passed.
“We will like to state at this point that NANS has been working under ground to address this lingering menace in our higher institutions, thanks to the motion by Hon. Martins for making our move much easier.
“While we worked, we discovered the following concerning the said “Acceptance fees”.
“That Acceptance Fees are quite different from tuition fees and other fees ranging from Hostel fees, Development fees, ICT fees and other fees.
“That it is paid by all freshers therefore, serving as a pre-requisite qualification before admitting a student, who had passed the necessary examinations.
“That the rational for paying Acceptance Fees has not been stated by our tertiary institutions anywhere.
“That it is in fact calculated to extort and impoverish students thereby incapacitating many Nigerian Students who had passed the relevant examinations from enrolling.
“For example, Imo State University collects N70,000 from fresh students every year, University of Ibadan receives N35,000, Ahmadu Bello University receives N30,000, Lagos State University receives N20,000 and University of Nigeria, Nsukka receives N25,000 etc’’.
The vice president noted that the situation was very worrisome, adding that NANS urged the members of the House, to continue the good work so that this bill can be passed into law, this would speak volume of the House.
He called on the Federal Ministry of Education and the NUC to avail themselves to be used as instrument of change regarding the matter in question.
“We want to unequivocally reiterate our stance that education is a right and not a privilege; therefore, every young Nigerian is entitled to education.
“NANS will not tolerate any policy, which is calculated towards aborting the rights of the Nigerian students,’’ he said.