Students of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic (MAPOLY) Abeokuta have planned to stage a protest tomorrow following the introduction and increase of some levies by the school management.
The management in September introduced a new registration fee of #20,000, which students have to pay after gaining admission into the institution. This fee is to be paid before students can proceed to make an acceptance fee payment of #35,000. Students have however tagged this action as a disregard for students’ welfare.
In a statement made by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Ogun chapter, and tagged CALL FOR MASS ACTION TO END MISMANAGEMENT OF MAPOLY BY THE MANAGEMENT, the students accused the management of trying to milk the sponsors of students through numerous school fee increments and the introduction of exorbitant charges.
The statement which was signed by both the association’s chairman, Damilola Kehinde, and PRO, Olufemi Owoeye, called for a protest tomorrow, noting that the management has disregarded their efforts in making them reverse these policies.
“We are quite aware of how casual workers in the institution are working without a salary for months. Revenue generated from the exorbitant levies is diverted for the private use of the Rector and his associates. What then is the justification for the increment in fees? We are also aware that the Rector was released on bail from the anti-fraud office in Lagos for financial misappropriation reasons.
“This is just a few weeks after he was confirmed as the substantive Rector. Yet dishonesty, increment of fees, and disregard for students’ concern is his achievement so far. Should we remind the management that barely a few months ago the tuition fee was increased?
“If asked for the justifications for these policies, the excuse given is that the government isn’t funding the institution. Yet there is enough for the management to steal. We advise the management team to resign if they can no longer manage the school without making life unbearable for students.
“This statement is therefore to call public attention and the mass of students to the Press Conference to be held at MAPOLY on Monday, 17th October 2022 to declare a program of action in demanding the abolition of these policies.” a part of the statement reads
The association demanded that the management must remove the ‘unlawful and indefensible’ registration fee, reintroduce the 60-40 payment option as promised, fix a date for the next Students Union election, improve the student’s overall welfare and give room for social activities on campus.
The management of Mapoly has made an increase to some mandatory fees paid by students in the space of two years, as gathered by Within Nigeria.
In 2020, Tuition fees for fresh students (Science based) were 55,000 (National Diploma) and 51, 000 (Higher National Diploma). Also, the fees for Non-Science students were 51,000 (National Diploma) and 46,000 (Higher National Diploma).
Fees for returning students (Science based) were 46,000 for both National Diploma and Higher National Diploma programmes. Non-Science students paid 41, 000 for both programmes respectively.
However, in 2022, an increment of 7,000 was made on the tuition fee paid by all students. It was also gathered that the medical fee was increased from 5,000 to 12,000 and also the acceptance fee from 25,500 to 35,000. The registration fee of 20,000 was non-existent until it was introduced in September.
Management slashes fees after criticisms
The Governing Council of MAPOLY has approved the reduction of the registration fee introduced in September payable by newly admitted students of the Institution by fifty percent.
In a statement signed by the Head, Public Relations and Protocol, Yemi Ajibola, the management said it was done in consideration of the pleas by the Students Union Executive of the Institution to ensure that peace is restored in the Polytechnic environment.
“By this decision, the Council is optimistic of an uninterrupted ongoing examination and academic calendar. Therefore, all newly admitted applicants are to commence their registrations immediately ahead of the resumption of the 2022/2023 academic session.” a part of the statement reads.
However, Within Nigeria spoke to the Director of Student Affairs, Dr. Segun Aninkan in a phone conversation, and he said several steps have been taken by the management to calm the current situation which includes slashing the fee by 50 percent.
“Several steps have been taken, the money is actually for new intakes. But despite that, it has been slashed to 10,000 and a meeting is being conveyed. We are just hoping that everything will be well.” He said.
He told Within Nigeria that the management has called for a meeting and would inform us about the outcome.
Students insist on total removal
Even after the registration fee has been slashed by fifty percent, students are insisting on the total removal of the fee.
Joseph Babatunde said that the outbursts from students are necessary to avoid any introduction of fees by the management now and in the future.
“If we do not talk now the school management will surely add the fee and keep on adding it every year. During my ND1 days, some of us did pay 60/40 percent (school fees). With this, some of my friends still dropped out because they couldn’t afford it. We are tired of this so-called management extorting students.” he said
Titilola Popoola, while also reacting, said students might not be able to pay the fees because of the present harsh economy.
“Most of our parents are struggling to get us this money just to make it possible for us to be in the school. The school should not kill them with this exorbitant money. Now I can’t tell my mum and my dad the total money paid for the acceptance fee.” Popoola said
Another student, Ibrahim Yusuf, said students sending themselves to school would get affected. He also noted that parents struggling to send their children to school cannot cope with these fees.