A human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has urged Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State to reduce the fees of the Lagos State University students.
Falana, in a statement on Sunday, commended Fashola for directing the reopening of the university without imposing reparation fees on the students for the repairs of facilities damaged during the crisis which led to the closure of the institution.
The university was shut following the January 23, 2014 students’ protest against hike in fees.
The governor had directed that the university be reopened on Monday (today).
But Falana insisted that the “skyrocketing tuition” imposed on the students could not be justified given the poor economic conditions of many of the students’ parents.
He also urged the state government to review the fees since the government was still responsible for the substantial funding of the institution.
“Therefore, the demand for the review of the tuition fees cannot be faulted in the light of the phenomenal increase in the internally generated revenue by the Lagos state Government,” Falana stated.
He also cited the provisions of Article 17 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 which provide that “every individual shall have the right to education.”
Falana said, “While the governor’s gesture is commendable, the Lagos State Government ought to review the hike in tuition fees paid by the undergraduates having regard to the fact that the majority of them are from poor homes where parents and guardians have been economically disabled by the kalokalo economic system operated by the ruling class in Nigeria.
“A situation whereby civil servants in the employment of the Lagos state government cannot sponsor their children and wards from their hard earned salaries calls for a downward review of the tuition fees charged by the LASU.”