By Ekene Agbor, Osun state
Authorities of Osun State University,Osogbo have cried out over the alleged N2 billion debts being owed the institution by most of their undergraduates who have refused to pay their tuition fees.
According to the university authorities, the students have, since the inceptions of their various degree programmes refused to balance up the payment of their tuition fees stressing that they now owe the institution about N2 billion.
While addressing journalists on the university campus on Monday evening, the school Vice Chancellor, Prof. Labode Popoola claimed that large percent of the students diverted their school fees to MMM scheme.
Popoola, who said that the university had allowed part payment of tuition fees in its effort to ensure that payment of fees does not become a huge burden on parents and guardians, expressed regrets that students abused the opportunity by refusing to pay their school fees as and at when due.
He therefore disclosed that the school authority would expose the students’ debtors by publishing their names and addresses on pages of newspapers stressing that the university would enforce its full rules and regulations on defaulters.
Part of the regulations to serve as punishment to defaulters are that students who were yet to pay up their school fees would not be allowed to attend classes and write examinations unless they pay.
The VC expressed worry that parents of most defaulting students had given them their schools fees but maintained that the students had spent the monies while some diverted their fees to MMM scheme.
According to him, “The University has decided to call this press conference to educate and enlighten the stakeholders in particular and the public in general about the financial position of the Osun State University.
“Osun State University, being a public institution, is financed from grants from the State Government and she also heavily relies on school fees from its students and other internally generated revenues. It would be recalled that the State Government under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, when he came on board, reduced the school fees.”
“I wish to confirm that the University has not increased its school fees despite the economic recession. The University remains one of the few State owned institutions that charge modest fees. In all matters concerning our students, their interests remain our paramount consideration.
“Meanwhile, I wish to let the public know the current amount being charged since 2011:
Programmes Amount per session. Freshers:
Law (including Nursing Science)N125,000.00N135,000
Acceptance fee – N40,000
Admission Checker – N2,000
Medical Fee – N15,000
Matriculation fee – N5,000
Late registration fee is N10,000 per semester
“From the table above, it can be seen that the highest school fee for staylite is one hundred and twenty five thousand naira (N125,000.00) in a session for law and nursing science students; whereas there are some private secondary schools in Osun State that charge about N150,000 and above per term.”
“It is, however, disheartening to note that the University has discovered that despite the fact that the University operates an enviable stable academic calendar, mobilizes its graduating students Youth Service without delay, many of our students still owe school fees running to two billion naira. If this trend continues, there is no way the University could perform its financial responsibilities.
“Henceforth, Senate at its meeting has approved the implementation of the following guidelines: (i)that all students who fail to register will no longer be allowed into lecture rooms and will not be allowed to write examination; (ii)that only students who fulfil the requirement would be allowed to write examination; (iii)that the policy of 70% attendance at lectures for students will be strictly enforced; (iv)that new students are to pay school fees in full and on time for retention of their studentship; (v)that names of defaulters will be published soon.
“All parents and guardians are hereby advised to warn their children and wards to pay their fees on time and not to divert their school fees to other areas,” Popoola said.
But the students have begged the university management to give them three weeks to pay up their school fees.
Speaking with our correspondent, an undergraduate of the university, Mr. Akinlade Boluwatife asked the management to re-open the students’ portal that had been closed stressing that students should be given the chance to pay their school fees within the next three weeks.