Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday said the state government and the students of Lagos state University; LASU would soon reach an agreeable tuition for the institution, saying “both parties have started holding talks to end the issue.”
Following agitations by the students on the fees increase, the State Governor met with leaders of the students severally and agreed that the students should make their independent study and present to Government a position paper on the way forward.
Fashola who disclosed this while fielding questions at a live television interactive session with media executives at the Lagos Television, Ikeja, weekend, said the seven-man Executive Council was currently studying the students’ paper to the Government on the tuition.
The governor, who promised that where there was need for adjustment or amendment it would be affected accordingly , said the students had presented the paper now before the Executive Council for consideration and approval.
According to him, “I have passed it out to the Council. We have told the students that we are not inflexible and where we see the need for adjustment or amendment, we will do it so that they might understand it better. From the paper presented by the student, they were not against the increase but the parameters used in calculating the fees.”
The governor reiterated that the increase in tuition was one of the recommendations made by a Visitation Panel inaugurated at the instance of the students in a petition to the House of Assembly.
“There were many recommendations made by the panel many of which we accepted. It is the school fees that have become so vexatious as it were. What we have done is that we looked across schools, Federal and State and private schools and tried to stay somewhere in the middle”, the Governor explained.
According to him, government also decided that the new fee was not going to affect returning students, but only new intakes adding that in consideration of qualified but indigent students, Government also increased its budget for scholarships and bursaries from N700 million, to about N1.2 – N1.3 billion “in order to ensure that no child was left behind”.