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UNILAG assures no student’ll drop out over fee increment, rules out review

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The University of Lagos has said the increase of obligatory fees is not intended to stop indigent students from accessing quality education.

The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, made the assertion at a virtual news conference on Saturday night in Lagos, where she explained why it would be difficult to return the fees to the former rates.

The institution had, through a statement issued on August 21, announced an adjustment in obligatory fees in the university.

It said the adjustment, which would take effect from the first semester of 2023/2024 academic session, was in view of the prevailing economic realities and the need for the university to be able to meet its obligation to its students, staff and municipal service providers, among others.

It further noted that the mandatory charges for one academic session for new undergraduate students include N126, 325, for courses without laboratory/studio.

The statement also indicated N176,325 as mandatory charges for one academic session for courses with laboratory and studio.

A further breakdown of the approved mandatory charges for one academic year or session for returning students showed that they would pay N100,750 for courses without laboratory and studio, among others.

Reacting to the development, students of the university embarked on a peaceful protest on Sept. 6, to register their displeasure over the move.

The students threatened to deploy every means within their reach to stifle the move, if the university failed to reason with them.

Ogunsola, explaining the position of the institution concerning the hike, said the move was necessary for the university to meet its mandates.

She said it could no longer do so with what the charges used to be for over 15 years now.

“There has been this call for us to return the fees to status quo and we want to share why this could be a little bit difficult.

“We are of the belief that even those who do not have a lot of money deserve quality education. We are having bills to pay, which informs why we are where we are and why we need to adjust.

”The universities are for our children. What quality of education do we want to bequeath to them? All we are doing is to ensure that they are not disenfranchised in the job market. It is not an emotional thing, it is about what we need to do to survive and remain relevant.

“We feel the pains too, even as management of the university, because we are also parents. We have our children here too. But truth be told, we cannot continue to go the way we are going if we truly want to give our students the best and equip them with 21st century skills.

“The increase in the obligatory fees is not targeted at stopping indigent students from accessing quality education. The challenge I see is, we have to look at universities from all angles, especially with the current economic crunch in the country.

“My question now too is, how do we get the things we need to acquire this quality education? Somebody has to pay for it. This whole issue is not only about UNILAG.

“Lots of other federal universities in the country have also reviewed their fees and even higher fees, just to ensure that they remain relevant.

”I have no issue with students protesting peacefully, but I have issues with violent protest. Part of the protest is about how students express critical thinking, and that is encouraged.

“I know it will not sound strange to you to understand that as we speak, some secondary schools charge even higher than the current review.

“Having said all these though, I want to assure that none of our students will drop out of school because of the current hike of obligatory fees.”

Ogunsola said aside palliatives roled out to cushion the effects of the hike, the university was in talks with prominent members of the society on the need for them to adopt a student for sponsorship in the institution.

She expressed delight at the level of response, noting that already, some persons had indicated interest in the initiative.

Ogunsola listed high electricity tariffs, running into over N1 billion and cost for conducting examinations and verifying results as some of the concerns that gave rise to the review of the obligatory fees.

She said others include accreditation of courses as well as maintenance of key infrastructure in the university annually.

According to the vice chancellor, the government on its part is also bearing a huge amount of costs in ensuring that these universities meet up with their mandate of teaching, research and community service.

She noted that the obligatory fees were arrived at after due consultations with critical stakeholders, as well as the Council of the university, before its dissolution by the Federal Government.

She said electricity and internet services were two critical components in running a university successfully.

Ogunsola expressed readiness to continually engage students and other key stakeholders of the university on matters that affect them and find means of getting prompt solutions to them.

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Police Probe US Businessman’s Sudden Demise in Lagos Hotel

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– US-based businessman Onyejekwe Izuchukwu found dead in Lagos hotel
– Police investigation underway to determine cause of death
– Autopsy to be performed to reveal more details

The Lagos State Police Command has launched an investigation into the sudden death of Onyejekwe Izuchukwu, a 62-year-old US-based businessman. Izuchukwu’s body was discovered in his hotel room in Ikoyi on June 9, 2024.

According to a source, Izuchukwu had been staying at the hotel since June 6, engaging in business activities. Tragically, his lifeless body was found by a cleaner on the floor of his room.

The hotel’s management reported the incident to the police, who have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Izuchukwu’s death. A doctor was called to the scene and confirmed the businessman’s demise.

Izuchukwu was a prominent figure in the oil and gas industry, having served as President of Bits and Drilling Tools, a division of Schlumberger. His death has sent shockwaves through the industry.

“The command has commenced an investigation into the case,” said Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin. “Izuchukwu’s corpse has been deposited in a morgue in Ikeja for autopsy.”

 

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Lagos Govt Opens Emergency Center To Curb Cholera Outbreak

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– Lagos activates emergency centre to combat cholera outbreak
– UNICEF urges provision of clean water and sanitation facilities
– 350 suspected cases reported with 17 confirmed and 15 deaths

Lagos State Government has activated its Public Health Emergency Operations Centre to tackle the cholera outbreak. The centre will coordinate responses to the increasing number of severe gastroenteritis cases across the state.

According to Prof. Akin Abayomi, Commissioner for Health, the laboratory investigation has confirmed Cholera sub-type O-1, associated with more severe disease. He urged residents to adhere strictly to precautionary measures to prevent further spread.

Meanwhile, UNICEF has called on the state government to provide high-standard water and sanitation facilities to communities. Celine Lafoucrier, Chief of UNICEF Lagos Field Office, emphasized the need for strengthened healthcare systems to respond to outbreaks.

Lafoucrier stated, “Addressing cholera outbreaks requires a deliberate focus on providing high-standard water and sanitation facilities.” She also stressed the importance of community engagement strategies to halt transmission.

The state government has confirmed 350 suspected cases of cholera in 29 wards across multiple LGAs, with 17 confirmed cases and 15 deaths. However, the number of new cases is subsiding in previously affected areas due to interventions and surveillance efforts.

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