Omololu Ogumade in Abuja
Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka, Wednesday said the Federal Government had resolved to investigate the discovery that federal universities collect tuition fees contrary to the laws setting them up.
Briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council meeting at the State House, Anwuka said, “FEC discussed the issue of school fees in various universities and noted that as of law, no federal university should charge tuition fees. And we understand some universities now charge fees per course unit and we are going to make sure that we investigate that properly and make it stop. But students can pay other auxiliary fees but not in excess.”
According to him, the council would ensure that such practice was brought to an end. Pointing out that whereas the federal government does not determine tuition fees for state and private universities, federal universities have no mandate to impose tuition on students.
“Various university councils and management should be able to fix what fees students should pay that are affordable and acceptable to the students. That is the position. The federal government does not determine fees for private and state universities, they only take responsibility for fees paid in the federal universities,” he said.
The minister also disclosed that FEC had approved a provisional license for Skyline University, Kano.
“FEC approved the issuance of provisional licence for the the establishment of Skyline University in Kano. The application for the establishment of the university by Skyline University has been on for the last years and the NUC after going through the rigorous verification of the claims as to the application, sent a recommendation to the Ministry of Education, which in turn presented the request to FEC and it was approved.
“While making the approval, FEC noted the following issues: They wanted the NUC through the ministry to provide a status report to FEC on all the nationâ€™s universities in terms of their performance, be they private, state or federal. We stressed on quality of staff on various universities,” Anwuka said.
Also briefing journalists, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said FEC approved the purchase of equipment for the completion of control towers in some airports including Maiduguri, Akure, Benin, Ilorin, Kaduna and Ibadan at the cost of N1.36billion.
“FEC approved procurement of equipment for the completion of control towers in some airports that included Maiduguri, Akure, Benin, Illorin, Kaduna and Ibadan. These particular procurement was done in 2011. From 2011, government stopped funding a particular procurement with all its importance. So, we provided for it in 2017 so that we can complete it and the council has graciously approved to complete those control towers which will enhance communications and security of our airspace. The total value is N1,365, 364, 458.75,” he said.
In the same vein, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama, described President Muhammadu Buhari as the strongest brand in Nigeria today.
“One of the strongest brands that this country has is Mr. President. By the level of invitation he has been receiving, all the major heads of states want to meet with him. I think this is a recognition of the weight of his persona, his integrity and the leadership qualities. And, this is something we as a country have to be extremely proud of, and we saw that when he went to the United States and the respect Mr. Trump has for him.
“He was extremely focused during that visit on Nigeriaâ€™s interest. He wanted the US to help him and this country achieve those priority areas – security, corruption and revamping the economy. The US is on our side on the fight against insecurity, training and sharing of information. We secure the commitment of the US to repatriate large sums of looted money in the country,” he stated.