Senator John Owan Enoh representing Cross River Central Senatorial District and Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance has urged all Federal Universities in the nation to increase their school fees to enable them provide qualitative education instead of waiting for government to cater for everything they need.
He gave this charge on Wednesday at a joint budget Defence by the Senate Committee on TERTFUND and Tertiary Institutions which he is a member.
He submitted that it was high time Nigeria Universities braced up with the reality of inadequacy of funds to education.
“Let us not run away from the truth that government cannot cater for everything in terms of financing and no one should pretend about that so you should devise means of raising school fees so as to have money to work with,” he advised.
John was emphatic that students often embark on riot as a result of increase in school fees no matter how little the increment, noting that University management should not be scared because after a while, they would calm down and settle for lectures.
” I know some of you will be thinking of students riot but don’t be scared because these same students, after a while come back putting the issues behind and settlling for lectures,” he said.
He wondered at all manner of ‘service charges’ which were not accounted for on campuses, yet students could afford to pay.
“I know that on the Campus, students are charged for all kinds of fees which were not statutory and they still pay, so why can’t you incorporate this?,” he asked.
Buttressing his points, he asserted that there were situations where an accommodation was given to students only for them to sell at much higher price which at the end of the day, the money goes into their private pockets.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Julius Okojie was elated that the suggestion was coming from a Senator the Federal Republic, pointing out that it was long overdue.
He promised the Commission’s cooperation with Federal Universities to work out fresh school fees that would further strengthen educational system.