The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has frowned at the reported payment of tuition fees by students in the federal universities and ordered the National Universities Commission to clarify and update the council on the matter.
The Minister of State, Education, Prof Anthony Onwuka, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the council’s meeting which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber of the presidential villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
Onwuka stated that it was illegal for any federal university to charge tuition fees, saying that the law had made it clear that no federal university should charge students tuition fees.
He, however, stated that the federal government could not determine payment of fees in private and state universities.
“They (members of FEC) wanted the NUC, through the ministry, to provide a status report to FEC on all the nation’s universities in terms of their performance, be they private, state or federal. We stressed on quality of staff on the various universities.
“And then FEC discussed the issue of school fees in the various universities and noted that as of law, no federal university should charge tuition fees.
“And, we understand some universities now charge fees per course unit and we are going to make sure that we investigate that properly and make it stop.
“But students can pay other auxiliary fees but not in excess. Various university councils and management should be able to fix what fees students should pay that is affordable and acceptable to the students. That is the position.
“The federal government does not determine fees for private and state universities, they only take responsibility for fees paid in the federal universities.”
The minister revealed that the council approved the establishment of Skyline University in Kano state.
He explained that the council granted the approval after a rigorous verification exercise of the claims contained in the application and the recommendation to the ministry of education by the NUC.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, also disclosed that the council approved procurement of equipment for the completion of control towers in some airports across the country.
He said the airports included Maiduguri, Akure, Benin, Illorin , Kaduna and Ibadan.
“This particular procurement was done in 2011. From 2011, government stopped funding this particular procurement with all its importance.
“So, we provided for it in 2017 so that we can complete it, and the council has graciously approved to complete those control towers which will enhance communications and security of our airspace.
“The total value is N1.365, 364, 458.75,’’ he added