The Abia State House of Assembly has resolved that the Abia State University Uturu (Absu) should stop further collection of Fees until further notice
This speaker made this remark after a matter of urgent public importance raised by the member representing Isialangwa North State Constituency, Hon Ginger Onwusibe, over the high Acceptance Fee charged by the Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU)in the floor of the House.
In his words, “We also have a development fee of N60,000 and another accreditation fee of N30,000. Mr Speaker, Honorable Colleagues, this is apart from the School fee of over N150,00 being charged by the institution.
“This is the reason why I have to bring it to the floor of this House so that we can intervene and save our people from this hardship”, he said.
Ginger, prayed the House to intervene and also called for the House Committee on Education to investigate the high increase in School fees payable by students.
Member representing Umuahia East State Constituency, Hon. Chukwudi Apugo, said the exorbitant school fees by ABSU is akin to robbery without a gun..
“Most times there are even no receipts backing up the acceptance fee, so where is the money going to?
“Mr Speaker, I want to align myself with the Member representing Isialangwa North that you use your good office to stop this robbery without a gun,” he said
In his contribution to the matter, the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Paul Taribo said the high fee is totally unnecessary.
“There is no course that is bigger or more important than the other as far as a university environment is concerned.
“This is a matter that this House must address considering the level of Poverty and hunger in the Land.
“I therefore align myself totally with the House Committee on Education ensuring that no further collection is made by the institution until the Committee turns in its report”, he concluded.
The Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon. Ifeanyi Uchendu, on his part, urged the House to invite the Vice Chancellor of the University for explanations regarding the hike in the school fees.
“It is better we invite the VC and know the reason why they increased this fee and resolve this matter thereafter”.
Member representing Isuikwuato State Constituency, Hon. Barr Emeka Okoroafor, in his contribution said the circumstances the University found itself might have necessitated the increase in fees charged by it.
“Most of those compelled to pay for the accommodation end up not getting it because there is acute shortage of it.
“Mr Speaker, it is the circumstances of this University that might have forced them to increase their fees.
At this point, the Speaker asked if the Member for Isiukwuato State Constituency was attempting to preempt the envisaged Committee report on the Investigation of some of the Institutions.
The Member representing Arochukwu State Constituency, Hon. Mike Ukoha said, “I’m so glad this afternoon that the member representing Isialangwa North presented this matter.
“I will second the Motion that the matter be referred to the House Committee on Education. Mr Speaker, I will implore my colleagues to support that the matter be referred to the House on Committee on Education”.
The Speaker on his part said the prayers are very simple and are as follows:
(1) That the House resolve to call on the House Committee on Education to Investigate the said increase in fees by Abia State University, Uturu (ABSU), and,
(2) That the House resolved to stop further payment of these fees until the House is done with its Investigation.
The Speaker further said that Abia State University is not a private university and that the House will ensure that whatever is done by the University is done in consultation with stakeholders and not by fiat.
“The purpose of consulting is so that you would not make mistake. ABSU ought to have consulted seeing that such matters as unilateral increases in fees by other institutions have caused chaos”.
The Speaker put the Resolutions of the House into Vote and the House responded in the affirmative.
The House gave its Committee on Education one week to come up with its report.
The House therefore mandated Abia State University, Uturu, to stop further collection of the fees until the House Committee on Education submit its report.