The Minister Of Education, Tahir Mamman, has said the federal government is in discussion with university management to reduce tuition fees, following protests by students over the recent hike in tuition.
Mamman made the announcement during an interview with TVC on Tuesday, saying that there may be changes to this issue in the coming days.
He stated that while the government is aware of the financial challenges facing the institutions, it is also committed to ensuring that education remains accessible to all.
The minister added that the government has the constitutional duty to offer education at the basic level in the first nine years of a child’s life in Nigeria.
“The first thing to note is that tuition fees are free and the president has really iterated this many times in the universities, and then, Secondly, the government also has a constitutional duty to offer education at the basic level in the first nine years of children in Nigeria,” Mamman said.
“The universities have been challenged all over by the cost of providing various services, like electricity, for instance. Take Unilag. The Vice-Chancellor reported very recently that they spend about 118 million a month just on energy, and electricity, not to talk about diesel, water, academic support services, conferences, research and all such needs.”
Mamman, however, noted that the government is discussing with the vice-chancellors of various universities strategies to reduce the hike in school fees.
He added that the government is “a very listening government” and that “there may be changes in this regard” in the coming days.
Recently, students at the University of Jos (UNIJOS) in Plateau State took to the streets to protest the latest fee hikes for the upcoming academic session. Their protests included chanting slogans and displaying placards with messages such as “Let the Poor Breathe,” “Degree, not Debt,” and “Fees Must Fall.”
Similar protests also occurred at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) last week, where students demonstrated against fee increases ranging from ₦26,000 to between ₦120,750 and ₦240,250, depending on their courses and levels