Abia introduces discriminatory fees at state varsity
The Abia State government has introduced a new regime of fees in the state-owned university that favours indigenes in its Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU).About N100, 000 is currently being paid as school fess in the university per annum, depending on department and course.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Bonnie Iwuoha, while disclosing this to journalists in Umuahia at the end of the state executive council meeting, said that under the new arrangement, indigenes would pay N10, 000 less than non-indigenes.
According to him, to qualify for the rebate fees, student-indigenes would have to produce their parent or guardian’s tax payment certificates.Other decisions taken by the council include the immediate relocation of the Faculties of Law and Humanities from its Uturu main campus to Umuahia and the new Faculty of Engineering to Aba, when the facilities are ready.
He also gave an update on the state free school meal, saying the result from its pilot operation in three schools selected from each of the three senatorial zones was successful and would soon be effected statewide.
Iwuoha disclosed that the success has also resulted to increase in primary school enrollment. The planned relocation of some faculties to the Umuahia and Aba campuses has elicited divergent reactions from the students.
Henry Abba believed the decision does not favour him because of the problem of accommodation, saying: “They shouldn’t have reduced the school fees. They should have left us in Uturu, because my rent is expiring by March next year.”
Precious Ubani, a student of Mass Communication student, said the department should have been left at the Uturu campus because of the radio station manned by the communicators, as relocation could cause damage to the equipment.
Emmanuel Aruomah of Geography and Urban Planning was comfortable with the idea, saying it would make the campus serene and enjoyable.“I am okay with it because it will reduce the population of this place and make here more conducive for studying,” he said.
The Secretary general of the Student Union Government (SUG), Zionel Ezemdi, said: “It has its advantages and its disadvantages, because it will make Uturu campus less populated, thereby balancing the number of students in the campuses.
“It will make the Umuahia campus more developed and lively because of the different departments and the fact that various persons will be utilising the area, thereby reducing the cost of living of student in the area. “But on the other hand, students mighty find it difficult to adjust to the environment, in terms of transportation, accommodation, etc.”