Umahi, speaking during an interactive session with the students at the Government House in Abakaliki, on Monday, explained that his earlier promise to reduce school fees in the tertiary institution was no longer possible because of the worsening economic situation in the country.
He stated that it was not possible to reduce tuition now because the allocation to the state had drastically reduced due to the fall in global oil price.
According to the governor, the situation necessitated the reduction of the state government’s subvention to the university from N245m to N200m, and college of education from N60m to N50m.
Umahi appealed to the students to show understanding with the enormity of challenges facing the government and advised them to always pay their school fees in time to enable their institutions provide quality and functional education to them.
He said, “We made a promise to you that we will reduce your school fees; we are determined to do that but it is not possible now. Since we came in, the oil price has been dropping drastically.”
The students, however, commended the governor for living up to his electioneering promises.
The President of EBSU Students Union, Mr. Joshua Nwafor, made the commendation during the interactive session.
Nwafor listed the appointment of a fellow student, Martin Okwuegbu, as Special Adviser to the governor on Students Affairs, the distribution of water in the three campuses of EBSU and a gift of three luxury buses to students as some of Umahi’s efforts to improve the education and living conditions of students.
The students’ union president, however, pleaded with the governor not to go ahead with the single account policy being proposed for EBSU because “it would negatively affect the SUG in carrying out its activities.”
He added, “The idea is not favourable to the students. We are still finding it difficult to pay into various accounts in banks because of the increasing nature of students that go to pay.
“Imagine how it would be when it is in one bank; the money can still be for the university — for the state — if we are allowed to pay in different banks, but you have to have a regulatory measure to know how the money in the banks is being used.” (Punch)