UNIJOS Management Position On The Newly Implemented School Fees Structure

The attention of the Management of the University of Jos has been drawn to the media propaganda and misinformation going on by some leaders of the Students Union Government of the University of Jos on the recent implementation of the Federal Government approved harmonized charges for all undergraduate Students in Federal Universities in Nigeria.

It is in the light of this that the University Management feels compelled to put the issues in clear perspective so that the public is not misled.
The University of Jos Management was in receipt of a letter from the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) dated 22nd January, 2015 conveying the newly approved schedule of harmonized school charges to Senate/Governing Councils of all Federal Universities for immediate implementation.

The directive contained in the letter followed a recommendation made by a Committee constituted by the Honourable Minister of Education comprising the NUC Executive Secretary; Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors; Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellor, Bayero University, Kano that was mandated to review and harmonize the schedule of miscellaneous charges for Undergraduate Students in all Federal Universities. The Senate and Governing Councils of all Federal Universities were therefore directed to ensure the implementation of the new school charges structure.

Consequent upon receipt of the directive, Management of the University of Jos presented the matter before both the University Governing Council and Senate with both bodies subsequently ratifying the decision for its implementation in the University of Jos.
However, even though Management secured the approval for the implementation of the new school charges structure in the University, it was later agreed that there should be a phased implementation of the policy due to the prevailing situation in the University at that time.

Since the implementation of that resolution, it is apparent that the economic situation of the country has taken a downward turn raising significantly the cost of maintenance per student. For the avoidance of doubt, the University of Jos does not charge Tuition Fees as is being erroneously speculated. What Students are required to pay are school charges that are approved by Government and captured in the budget.
Every item in the School charge structure is tied to a specific cost for the services provided e.g. Hostel Maintenance, Students Health Insurance, Library, ICT Bandwidth and Network Maintenance, I.D. Card among several others. This is a verifiable fact that is clearly listed in the University’s school charges schedule. Certainly, based on the increase in the cost of most good and services in the country, it is no longer realistic to continue with the old school charges and still expect to successfully
run the University on a sustainable basis.

It is worthy of note that the University incurs huge expenditure in the effort to provide a conducive learning atmosphere for all its Students. Apart from the personnel costs and other related expenses that the Government caters for, the University is virtually left unaided to cater for its upkeep.

Such necessary services rendered to the University like cleaning services, Electricity and other utilities, Accreditation expenses, Printing and Stationeries, Examination Expenses, Subscription to
Academic/Professional Bodies have to be paid for at great expense to the University even as the cost for such goods and services are frequently being hiked. For example, the University was paying a monthly charge of Twelve Million Naira (N12,000,000) for electricity supply. This has recently
been increased to Twenty-Three Million Naira (N23,000,000) per month.

The University is now saddled with responsibility of sourcing for how it can make up for the shortfall.
As stated earlier, by implementing the new school charges structure of N45,000 across board, the University has done nothing illegal nor has it gone contrary to Government regulations. Indeed, the University is only doing the needful by complying with a clearly spelt out and properly conveyed directive of the Federal Government. But even in doing so, the University still felt obliged to consult with Stakeholders before the decision was finally taken.

Hence, for the purpose of clarity, Management met on several occasions with officials of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the institution to present to them the University’s predicament and seek for their understanding. It was this spirit of openness and transparency that Management also convened a Stakeholders meeting with Parents and Guardians of the Students during which it was collectively resolved that the University should commence the implementation of the new School  charges structure of N45,000. The impression given by some officials of the SUG that they were denied the opportunity to contribute during the Stakeholders parley must be strongly refuted. As was contained in the invitation to meeting, only Parents and Guardians were invited to attend meeting.

Students were allowed to attend only as observers since they were earlier provided a platform for discussions through the several meetings held between the SUG officials and the University Management.
It was therefore a mark of strong disrespect that the SUG officials attempted to railroad Management into making them speak during the occasion. Theirs was evidently an attempt to breach protocol and runs contrary to the cherished African tradition which stipulates that where elders are gathered, children are not allowed to speak unless expressly permitted. The fact that the SUG officials have opted to embark on a campaign of calumny against the University Administration despite the many attempts to make them see reason is unfortunate. But this should not detract from the fact that the University, as a solely Federal Government-owned institution, has a duty to comply with directives received from its proprietor while also fully ensuring that its activities are properly carried
out in an efficient and sustainable manner. The University cannot afford to abdicate its responsibilities and compromise the high standard it has attained over the years on the altar of populism. Granted that the times are hard and not as rosy as they once were. But rather than the towing the easy path and casting aspersions, now is the time to rally round and support the effort to keep the University afloat and relevant in the scheme of things in the quest to deliver quality tertiary education to Nigerians.

The University Management is hereby urging members of the public to disregard the diversionary antics and falsehoods being propagated by elements within the Students Union Government of the University. All genuine and law abiding Students of the University are also strongly advised to note that it is mandatory to pay the new school charges structure of N45,000 at the commencement of the 2016/2017 Academic Session if they are to be considered as bona fide Students of the institution. 

Thank you.
UNIJOS Management Position On The Newly Implemented School Fees Structure UNIJOS Management Position On The Newly Implemented School Fees Structure Reviewed by EMMANUEL CHINEKS on March 27, 2017 Rating: 5

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