Barely two weeks after the reversal of students’ school fees, the authorities of the Lagos State University, LASU, have said they are ready to refund over N840 million to students who had paid the new fees before it was slashed.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. John Obafunwa made this disclosure in an interview at the weekend, according to P.M NEWS.
It would be recalled that Governor Babatunde Fashola announced the reversal of the fees to the old rate of N25,000 during the last convocation of the institution in Lagos, western Nigeria.
“We have already calculated the excess paid by the students. Don’t forget that even before the reversal, a lot of them had already paid for this session We have calculated over N840 million. It will only be for this session. The reversal does not mean LASU will go back to where it used to be and the problems of the past. You cannot go beyond the available infrastructure. You cannot take more than what you can’t admit. I don’t see any disadvantage in the reduction of the fees,” Obafunwa said.
The vice counsellor also stated that the reversal of the fees was not completely a decision of the university’s management, saying “don’t forget there is still the governing council and government equally being involved. It is a joint decision. Be that as it may, it is a welcome decision in a way, depending on who is looking at it or commenting.”
He, however, stated that the reversal of the fees would have both good and bad side, but noted that the reversal did not mean there would be a reduction in the expenditure of the school.
“There are always good and bad sides of everything. You reduce the school fees, but that does not mean a reduction in the expenditure of the school. It will still remain the same. Whether you like it or not, someone will have to pick up the bills.
“We thank the Lagos State Government and House of Assembly. Nothing is going to happen to all the capital projects going on in the university. The students have a role to play, they should take advantage of the fee reduction, pay attention to their studies and they need to be more serious,” he added.
Obafunwa said the institution anticipated other ripple effect from the reduction, saying it might lead to a rush for LASU admission since the fees has been brought back to the normal rate.
“You can be sure that next year, you will have lots of people applying to come to LASU. You must have the necessary infrastructure in place to accommodate any number. If you have more people applying to LASU, it gives you the opportunity to pick from the best. We are preparing our minds for those things; we expect parents to educate their children to maintain a very high standard,” he stated.
The vice chancellor said it was unfortunate that the school had to go through a phase in the history of the university, saying that now that things were in shape, the current interest of parents, university administration and students would be to make progress as regards the academic calendar.
“And that is what we are focussing on now and I can tell you that we have had meeting with students union. The students have paid their fees. We reopened the portal after making adjustment to the new fees. The focus right now is on the calendar and we are going to have examinations as at when due,” he said.
Obafunwa said government had given the school assurance that the reversal would not affect the ongoing projects in the institution as government had requested from the State House of Assembly to approve some money for the school, saying that the school’s management had also asked for increase in the subvention to the school to take care of its needs, assuring that a positive response was expected from the government.
It would be recalled that after Governor Fashola announced the reversal of the school fees, students of LASU went on jubilation galore to celebrate the governor’s decision.
Prior to the reversal of the tuition fees, the students had protested at the Lagos State Governor’s house in Alausa.
The Lagos State University – also known as LASU – was established in 1983 by the enabling Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, for the advancement of learning and establishment of academic excellence.
The university caters for a population of over 61,000, enrolled in full-time and part-time programmes at the Diploma, Undergraduate and Postgraduate. Lagos State University (informally LASU), located in the city of Ojo, Lagos, Nigeria, is the only state university in the former British colony.