Falana urges Universities to suspend plans to increase school fees

Ogunsakin Mustapha
3 Min Read
Femi Falana SAN

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN has urged the authorities of federal universities across the country “to immediately suspend the plan to increase tuition and school fees especially because the majority of the people have been pauperised as a result of the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.”

Falana stated this in a paper he delivered yesterday at the Maiden Annual Lecture of Sacred Heart Seminary Old Boys Association.

According to Falana, “since the federal government has not lifted the 1975 policy which abolished the payment of tuition fees in federal tertiary institutions, the federal universities lack the power to impose astronomical tuition fees on students.”

The paper, read in part: “The payment of school fees in junior secondary schools is illegal as Section 2 of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act and Section 15 of the Child’s Rights Act have imposed a legal obligation on the federal and state governments to provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child from primary to junior secondary level.”

“We have noted that the governments have not taken cognisance of the plight of physically challenged people in the implementation of the new education policy. It is pertinent to point out that it is illegal to collect school fees from physically challenged students.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, section 17(2) of the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Act 2018 provides that a person with disability is entitled to free education from primary to secondary school level.”

“No doubt, the removal of fuel subsidy has increased the poverty rate in the country. As usual, the federal and state governments have assured the public that the country will soon witness economic boom. Hence, the masses have been asked to continue to tighten their belts.”

“But contrary to such assurance, the situation is going to get worse with the religious implementation of neoliberal policies. In other words, the national economy will not improve with the devaluation of the Naira through dollarisation.”

“Instead of subjecting Nigerians to harsh economic pains, I have challenged the federal government to recover about $200 billion from a group of oil companies, government departments, and a handful of individuals.”

“It is interesting to note that the indicted corporate bodies and individuals have not denied their involvement in the criminal diversion of the commonwealth. Therefore, pressure ought to be mounted on the federal government to muster the political will to recover the huge funds without any further delay.”

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