The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Federal University Lokoja (FUL), Senator Chris Adighije, PhD has heeded the pleas of the students of the University to reconsider Council's earlier decision on the newly reviewed school charges, which were approved to take effect from the 2022/2023 academic session, for the interest of the teeming students and their parents/guardians who were already struggling to cope with the new payments amidst the current economic situation in the country.
Recall that at an interactive session with the executive of the Students' Union (SU) as well as other students representatives within and outside the University, including the National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS), and National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Tuesday, 14th March 2023, the University Management led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi, after giving a listening ear to their passionate appeal, assured the student bodies that he would convene a conciliatory meeting with the Chairman of Council soon in Abuja to address their concerns over the recent hike in school charges. The Council Chairman on getting the notification rather chose to travel down to Lokoja to resolve the lingering issue.
During the crucial meeting which was held on 27th March 2023 at the College of Health Sciences Conference Room (Adankolo Campus) and attended by members of the University Management led by the Vice-Chancellor including other relevant stakeholders, the SU President-elect, Comrade Agada Idoko Achiever, again made a passionate appeal for FUL Governing Council to reconsider its approval on the new charges and review it downward considering the prevailing economic situation and the fact that most parents/guardians within Kogi State are predominantly civil servants who would find it more difficult to sponsor their children for tertiary education in the University. Achiever equally presented the Union's proposed new charges on behalf of the student community for consideration during the meeting while thanking the Chairman for extending an olive branch to the student body and trusting in his wisdom to guide the deliberation for the peace and progress of the University.
In his reaction, the Chairman of Council who was a member of the FGN Committee tasked to renegotiate ASUU and other University-based Unions' 2009 agreements in March 2022, sympathized with the students and their parents over the unavailable development which he said was not peculiar to FUL alone. He emphasized that the increment was inevitable and predicated on the poor financial state of the University, and the desire to produce quality students who would be able to compete favourably with their counterparts in other countries. Distinguished Senator Adighije who recently celebrated his 78 birthday, however, noted that despite the justification for the reviewed charges, he would for the sake of the outcry from the students who had run to him for his fatherly intervention come to a round table with them in order to address the issue amicably.
Speaking further, the Pro-Chancellor went down memory lane to recap his good old days then as a student and union member, and also as a young lecturer who has experienced academic life in the University system. The septuagenarian also identified with the plights of the students whom he described as his children and expressed willingness to make sacrifices as well as ensure that adjustments were made where possible for the sake of their future. Similarly, Senator Adighije empathized with the University Management and also commended their efforts in ensuring that the University runs despite the limited resources saying "the situation is terrible." He added that Professor Olayemi Akinwumi as the third Vice-Chancellor of the twelve-year-old Institution has done well and even surpassed his expectation, expressing confidence in his ability to take the University to a greater height.
Consequently, after extensive deliberation with a critical look at each item in the reviewed school charges which lasted for hours, and back and forth negotiations, the following new payments were arrived at for the undergraduate students of the University.
* Faculties of Science & Education - N122,500.00
* Other Faculties - N117,500.00
* Faculties of Science & Education - N61,500.00
* Other Faculties - N61,000.00
The new charges as earlier reported will take effect from the 2022/2023 academic session (not the current 2021/2022 session), and Management also approved that the payments can be made in installments of 60% and 40% for the first and second semesters respectively. The Chairman, however, noted that he would forward the resolutions to Council and hope that the decisions would be upheld and ratified by other Council members. Click here to see more pictures from the meeting