Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State on Thursday announced the reversal of the Lagos State University (LASU) fee from N350,000 to the old rate of N25,000 across board.
Fashola made the pronouncement at the 19th convocation ceremony of the higher degree award in Lagos.
The governor said he had met the State Executive Council on the issue and an approval to that effect had been made.
He said with the reduction, the university would run an uninterrupted academic calendar as the era of students spending extra days from their expected four years was over in the institution.
“With the increment in 2011, some busy bodies tried to use the opportunity to seek an undue attention and instigate unions and students against the management and the government,” he said.
Fashola also assured members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), LASU chapter, that their issues would be addressed.
The union met the governor, chanting solidarity songs to demand for the payment of their June and July salary, which was withheld by the government.
“Calm down, after the event, we would be meeting to resolve your demands,” he said.
Meanwhile, some LASU students who were protesting for further reduction on their fees went into jubilation after the reversal was announced.
The Student Union President, Mr Nurudeen Yusuf, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) commended Fashola for his kind gesture.
“Today marks a significant day in the history of Lagos, with this development, we are optimistic that the future of Lagos is great,” he said.
Yusuf said that Fashola had proved that he was a listening leader by wiping out the tears of the LASU students with the total reversal.
“It was unexpected because we proposed N46,000 but the governor surprised us by reversing the fee back to N25,000.
It implies that no pain, no gain, we have suffered, now we will enjoy,” he said.
NAN reports that Fashola increased LASU fee from N25,000 to N197,000 for Arts and Humanities students, and N350,000 for medical students in 2011.
Following several protest from students and civil society groups, Fashola on June 11, announced a 34 per cent to 60 per cent reduction on the fee, respectively.
The university on June 19, released the fee in Naira and kobo version to be N76,750 for Arts and N158,250 for Engineering and College of Medicine students.
The Student Union Government, however, demanded for further reduction, claiming that the fee was still high and demanded N46,500 for returning students and 56,500 for new students across board.
NAN further recalls that LASU tuition fee was increased in 2005 from N250 to N25,000 under former Gov. Bola Tinubu’s regime. [NAN]