Students of Kwara State Polytechnic have cause to celebrate as the State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, on Tuesday directed the institution to slash the fees payable by N5,000 (five thousand naira).
This was in response to the intervention of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who had argued against any idea of increasing the tuition payable by students, reports Punch.
However, Ahmed claimed that Kwara Poly has not only maintained the fees it charged in the 2016/2017 academic session, it has also effected a N500 reduction in the fees payable for the 2017/2018 session.
The governor made this known via his Facebook post, and also sent via WhatsApp to our correspondent in Ilorin, Kwara State, by the Senior Special Assistant to Ahmed on Media and Communication, Dr. Muyideen Akorede.
Ahmed’s position seems to agree with that of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Saraki, a former governor of the state and the political leader of the All Progressives Congress in the state, had, on Monday, maintained that based on facts available to him, Kwara Poly had, indeed, increased its fees.
Saraki said, “Students from my constituency sent me the details of the school fees that the Registrar of the Kwara State Polytechnic released for the 2017/2018 academic session through WhatsApp.
“After reviewing it, I found out that there has been a deliberate attempt to confuse and mislead the state government and the general public.
“It is obvious that a second year student in 2017/18 is now expected to pay N20,000 more than second year students paid in the 2016/17 session. This is contrary to the claim contained in the statement released by the institution just last week.”
He added, “With the present economic situation, this increment is unacceptable. I stand by my earlier position that education must be affordable for every willing citizen because it is the bedrock of development.
“Any increase in the school fees must be stopped now.”
Consequently, Governor Ahmed has urged the management of Kwara State Polytechnic to reduce the current fees by N5,000.
Ahmed said the directive was in consideration of Saraki’s concerns about the inability of guardians and parents to pay the school fees.
He added that it was also in recognition of the current economic hardship in the country.
Ahmed said, “In recent days, our government has become aware of complaints by students, parents and stakeholders regarding the alleged increase in Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, fees.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Kwara State Polytechnic has not only maintained the fees charged in the 2016/2017 academic session, it has also effected a N500 reduction in the fees payable in the 2017/2018 session.
“Nevertheless, I have taken serious note of the concerns expressed by stakeholders in the state, including the Senate President, His Excellency, Dr. Bukola Saraki, about students, guardians and parents’ capability to pay the specified fees.”
He added, “Having considered the above and recognising the current economic challenges facing families in the country, I hereby urge the management of Kwara State Polytechnic to reduce its current fees by N5000.00.
“While thanking those who intervened in this misunderstanding with a view to make us reach an amicable solution, the public is hereby invited to note that the Kwara State Polytechnic relies on school fees to meet its obligations to students and staff.”