Human Rights Lawyer Femi Falana Calls for Suspension of Tuition Fee Increase in Nigerian Universities

Human Rights Lawyer Femi Falana Calls for Suspension of Tuition Fee Increase in Nigerian Universities

…By for TDPel Media.

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana has issued a call for university authorities to suspend their plans to increase student tuition fees.

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His statement, released on Thursday through Tayo Soyemi on behalf of Falana and Falana Chambers, expressed concern over the impact of the removal of the fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu, which has resulted in increased hardship for Nigerians.

Falana’s reaction comes in response to reports of certain universities, including the University of Lagos, implementing higher tuition fees for both new and returning undergraduate students.

Nigerians Impoverished by Fuel Subsidy Removal:

Falana, a prominent human rights advocate, highlighted that the removal of the fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu has led to widespread impoverishment among the Nigerian populace.

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The soaring fuel prices have put immense financial strain on citizens, making it challenging for many to meet their basic needs, let alone afford higher education.

In this context, the proposed tuition fee increases by some universities add further burden to already struggling students and their families.

University of Lagos Tuition Fee Hike:

The University of Lagos recently announced its decision to raise tuition fees for new and returning undergraduate students.

The institution justified the adjustment in fees, citing the prevailing economic realities and the need to fulfill various financial obligations, including those to students, staff, and service providers.

However, this move has sparked criticism and concern, with Falana questioning the legality of such increases in federal tertiary institutions.

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Legality of Tuition Fees in Federal Universities:

Falana pointed out that the federal government has not lifted the 1975 policy that abolished the payment of tuition fees in federal tertiary institutions.

As a result, he argues that federal universities lack the authority to impose exorbitant tuition fees on students.

According to him, the payment of school fees in junior secondary schools is also illegal, as it contravenes the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act and the Child’s Rights Act, which mandate free, compulsory, and universal basic education for all children from primary to junior secondary level.

Neglect of Physically Challenged Students:

Additionally, Falana emphasized that the new education policy has overlooked the plight of physically challenged individuals.

He stated that collecting school fees from physically challenged students is unlawful, and the government must consider their unique needs and rights in the implementation of education policies.

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Conclusion:

Femi Falana’s call for the suspension of tuition fee increases in Nigerian universities highlights the challenges faced by citizens due to the removal of the fuel subsidy.

The rising cost of living has made higher education less accessible for many, and the decision of certain institutions to raise tuition fees has raised legal and moral concerns.

Falana’s advocacy for free, compulsory, and inclusive basic education serves as a reminder of the government’s responsibility to prioritize the well-being and educational rights of all citizens, including the physically challenged.

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