N500,000 Hike: Ikpeazu Overrules VC, Orders Immediate Return To Old Fee

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Respite may have come to students of Abia State University, following an order by Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of the state, for the immediate reversal of the 350 per cent fee hike announced by the institution, which is already raising a lot of dusts in the state and beyond.

Ikpeazu, who made the order on Monday, apparently in a bid to lower the level of anger in the state, generated by the announcement by the university’s management, led by Maxwell Ogbulu, the Vice Chancellor, to increase the tuition fee of the institution.

Students were said to have been jolted by the astronomical increment, which came to the fore, when fresh students were given invoices, which saw the fees hitherto, paid by undergraduates in some departments skyrocket from N122,000 Naira to N500,000.

Based on the furore the move generated, Ikpeazu who is a Visitor, was said to have rushed to the institution to calm frayed nerves and was said to have instantly directed that the management revert to the old school fees, denouncing the 350 per cent increase as “unacceptable to the state government, especially given the current economic realities in the country.”

A statement by his spokesman, Onyebuchi Ememanka, said: “The Governor while acknowledging that it is becoming increasingly challenging for the University to play its role under the current fiscal regime, however, added that the University Management must understand clearly that it must ensure that children of the poor in the State are given the opportunity to access tertiary education.”

Ikpeazu, who further directed the institution to engage with all relevant stakeholders in the university community and have robust discussions before contemplating any geometric hike in school fees, was said to have assured the people that the state that government would continue to support the institution with subventions and equally assured all students, parents and guardians that their interests would consistently be protected as well.

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