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Time to halt ‘acceptance fee payment’

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Sir: The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to immediately abolish the payment of acceptance fee in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Hon. Chinedu Emeka Martins titled: “Call for Abolishment of Acceptance Fee into Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria” during the plenary on Wednesday presided over by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila. The lawmakers termed the fee as an exploitative means.

In the light of the above motion as moved by Chinedu, member representing Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Mbaise Federal Constituency, I want to also air my views on why the fee should abolished.

Acceptance fee is the initial fee payable by newly admitted students to the institution on admission. It is the payment of this fee that paves the way for the newly admitted student to proceed to the next stage of the registration process.

This fee is not in any way refundable. The removal for this fee has been clamoured by a lot of people, as they see it as a form of extortion.

Some have said that, the fee is used to take care of the major projects of the institutions since they are poorly funded, as poor funding has not enabled them to carry out their obligations effectively.

Aside the acceptance fee, majority of the tertiary institutions collect fees such as: departmental levy, development levy, examination levy, library and sports fee, student’s handbook, student union fees etc. These fees are different and the institutions give them different names.

Looking at the different fees collected, what then becomes the fate of students from poor homes?

Acceptance fee is a hindrance to a student’s educational pursuit. I have seen students after paying the acceptance fee, they could not continue with the enrolment process again as a result of the huge amount paid.

A school of thought believes that if tertiary institutions are properly funded, they would be able to function optimally without the collection of acceptance fee.

I must say here that certificates are now paid for, which not ought to be. JAMB was not set up to generate money, but they now do.

With the sorry state of the economy and the level of hardship faced by the people, this payment of acceptance fee is a vexed issue, it should be given the desired attention, so as to get to its desired level.

The issue of acceptance fee is a factor while some students do not choose their preferred choice of institution as a result of the charge. Acceptance fee is seen by some as a fee used to shield some from education.

Since the present administration came in, education that should be a pivot mover has declined.

The relevant authorities should look into this issue critically for the payment to be abolished for the growth of the institutions in the country, with a view to considering the well being of the students.

We can’t continue this way, things must be done in the right manner for the good of all and sundry.

In all we do, we should remember that “injury to one, is injury to all.”

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