The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the recent hike in tuition fees of the University of Medical Sciences (UNIMED), Ondo, describing it as inhumane.
Blaming Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his harsh policies in the education sector, the PDP described the hike as a tacit notice to parents to withdraw the wards if they could not afford the new tuition regime.
A statement by Kennedy Ikantu Peretei, PDP state Publicity Secretary, condemned Governor Akeredolu for increasing tuitions in all tertiary institutions in the state as he assumed office in his first tenure.
The statement reads inter alia: “The recent astronomical hike in the fees payable by students in the Ondo State Government-owned University of Medical Sciences, Ondo (UNIMED) by the government is a silent notice to parents who cannot afford the new fees regime to withdraw their children.
“Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN has never hidden his penchant for increasing fees in tertiary institutions since he assumed leadership of the state. Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko and Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa had suffered serial closures over students protests bordering on fees hike.
“The Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo shrank to a student population of 1,753 from over 9,000 due to fees increase. Most private residential accommodation for students in Owo is now empty. Even the economy of the ancient city has been adversely affected.
“Parents and students of UNIMED received shockers of their lives when they noticed increment of fees with nearly 120 per cent for 2021/2022 session. No explanation was given for this hike. Medical students have to pay as much as N1,320,000.00 as against N515,000.00 payable in the previous academic session (2020/2021).”
Meanwhile, in its findings, PDP disclosed that medical students at Ekiti State varsity were a quarter of what Akeredolu wanted Unimed students to pay.
“At Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti students of Medicine and Surgery require only N468,750.00 for 2021/2022 Session. For Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye N176,396.00 will be enough for the same course.
“There is no justification for this continuous upward review of school fees when the economy of the state is practically comatose and workers’ salaries are not only irregular but never paid in full, PDP said.
PDP, however, called on Governor Akeredolu to run a government with “a human face in taking decisions that affect the wellbeing of our future leaders. A government that only brings sorrow to the people through policies of this nature is no longer worthy of its stay in power.
“If neighbouring States with lesser revenue are charging lesser fees, why must Ondo State breed University dropouts because of the wickedness of one man?
“Education is the only industry Ondo State is known for. If the incumbent administration cannot improve our lots, it is better not to complicate a bad situation.”