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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

ASUU denies issuing statement on hike in Universities’ fees

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ASUU
The Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan Chapter, Dr. Deji Omole, has called for investigation into an alleged false and damaging report on hike in universities’ fees.

Omole, while expressing dismay over the report attributed to him, denied issuing any statement to any media house on increment of fees in 38 universities.

The union chief described the report, which originated fromthe News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), as mischievous.

Omolesaid he was never in Abuja and did not speak with any medium nor issue any statement concerning fees hike in universities.

He said ASUU is a well-coordinated union and places factual data in public domain in an incontrovertible manner.

The union chief called on Director-General of NAN, which was quoted by national dailies as the source of the news, to investigate the matter.

Omole, who noted that he was shocked when people called him over the news item, noted that ASUU as a responsible pro-public education and masses union must not be linked to independent investigations conducted on education to make it authentic.

He stated that his comments on the second year anniversary of President Muhammadu Buhari was clear on poor funding and inadequate budgetary provisions for public education.

Omole maintained that both Federal and state governments continue to play politics with the lives of the children of the masses by planning to deny them quality education.

“I need to place it on record that I was never in Abuja nor issued any press release to NAN or any other news medium in Abuja as falsely presented to the public.

“Therefore, I do not know the sources of the figures quoted in the report. ASUU is a well-coordinated union, who will carry out incontrovertible research and present this to the public.

“It is the duty of journalists to carry out investigation and if you have done that, why can’t you state that to the public? Why must you link it to ASUU that never spoke to you?

“Is it because NAN is a federal institution and does not want government to sanction them for stating the obvious? This is bad journalism practice. For me, my position remains that the government has not lived up to the electioneering campaigns of funding public education. We shall continue to fight for the funding of public education and resist any attempt to deny children of the poor masses public education,” he stated.

‘ABUAD has not increased school fees’

The Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) has condemned the publication in some national newspapers on hike in universities’ fees.

The said publication listed ABUAD among 38 Nigerian universities that recently increased their school fees.

In a statement yesterday, the university’s Head, Corporate Affairs Tunde Olofintila, said: “We want to say in clear, unambiguous and unmistakable terms that the information, which was attributed to the Chairman of the University of Ibadan Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Deji Omole, is absolute falsehood with intent to misinform and mislead the public and deliberately distort the facts and circumstances surrounding our fees regime in ABUAD.

“No increase in fees in any programme in ABUAD:

We would like to say very equivocally and unambiguously that very much to the contrary of this spurious and speculative claim and for the records, we have not increased our tuition fees. For the avoidance of doubt, we have not in any way increased the tuition fees from N675,000 to N1,075,000 as claimed in the publication or at all.

“We make bold to say that our fees have remained the same in the last two years, the biting economic recession the country is wading through notwithstanding. To ensure that we continue to provide quality and functional education, we have been subsidising the education of our students with part of our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and additional funding by our Founder and Chancellor, Aare Afe Babalola, OFR, CON, SAN and this will continue to be the case.

“We take a serious objection to the opening paragraph of the said publication which said: ‘Thirty eight universities across the country have increased their tuition as a result of poor funding by the Federal and state governments’.

“Ours is not a Federal Government owned university, but a Federal Government licensed non-profit private university, which does not enjoy any form of funding either from the Federal or state government. It is the peak of mischief for anyone or body to claim that we have increased our tuition fees because of poor funding by government.

“We are, therefore, demanding for a retraction of this obviously offensive, misleading and malicious publication.”

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