Oshiomhole wants subsidised tuition for indigent students
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has called on the Federal Government to review its policy on university education with a view to subsidising tuition fees for indigent students, emphasising that intelligent, but indigent students should be encouraged to acquire quality university education.
Speaking at the maiden matriculation ceremony of pioneer students of Edo University, Iyamho, recently, Oshiomhole said parents of the rich should be made to pay for quality university education for their children while the government should give subvention to children of the poor for same quality education.
He said: “Nigeria has to engage in a serious national conversation on the appropriate educational policy with particular reference to higher education. Just now, this conversation is taking place in an informal way. The system seems to have collapsed. Governments at all levels simply do not have the capacity to provide the level of funding, which universities require to produce first-class graduates.
“Right now, Nigeria is running a system, which is highly deceptive and is not sustainable, a system that I like to describe as a generalised system of suffering, a system that subsidises the children of the rich just as they subsidise the children of the poor. For God’s sake, my dear friend who works in the oil sector, why should his son or his daughter go to the university and enjoy subsidy when they can afford to pay $20, 000 or $30, 000 for his son in Canada or in the United Kingdom or in the United States? But if they are here in Nigerian universities, they pay N40, 000 or N50, 000, and we know that is not sustainable.
Oshiomhole, who noted that people in contemporary times find individual solutions to a matter that requires a national policy, added that while some university lecturers send their children to foreign universities for quality education, some Nigerian doctors also go to India for medical treatment. These practices he described as unsustainable.
According to the governor: “I think the way to go is to have the courage to find a way to identify students whose parents can afford to pay school fees, to pay economic fees for their university degrees. But the ones who cannot afford, but have what it takes for university education, those ones can also be identified and granted government scholarship so that they are not denied access to quality education.”
He assured, “Children of the poor who cannot afford this rate but who have what it takes to pursue a university degree, Edo State government should be able and should provide such students grants so that they are not denied access. I have already encouraged the management to set up a panel to identify such students, if there are, among the current students, and to make sure that it does not involve any influence or corruption. We have carefully selected a panel to include a man that we all respect, Bishop Dunia as a member of that panel.”
Vice chancellor of school, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor commended the governor for his wisdom in establishing the school and his contributions to the Nigeria nation.
While assuring that they would work towards ensuring that the school succeeds, he added that the university which has been accredited by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to run degree programmes in arts, social sciences and management sciences commenced academic activities in April 2016 with the admission of 500 students.
He informed that plans were underway to start other academic programmes in the future.
He said the first session of the university will end on 18th November while a new 2016/2017 academic session is expected to start with the admission of new students in November 2016.
Ninety-one pioneer students of the institution were administered the matriculation oath at the ceremony.