Earlier today, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi along with other Principal Officers and members of the University Management met with the leaders of the Students' Union (SU), Federal University Lokoja (FUL) led by its President-elect, Comrade Agada Idoko Achiever, as well as other students' representatives within and outside the University including the National Association of Kogi State Students (NAKOSS), and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
During the meeting which took place at the conference room of the College of Health Sciences, Adankolo Campus, the Vice-Chancellor who identified with the students and lent a listening ear to their pleas for a review of the new school charges, said that he was not unaware of the plights of the students over the new development, but that the hike in the fees, which was necessitated as a result of the Government's inability to fund education like before, was not peculiar to FUL alone.
Professor Akinwumi lamented that upon assumption of office in February 2021, he stated clearly that he would be the last person to ever support the idea of increasing school charges as it was not on his agenda, but the recent happenings in the tertiary education sector nationwide, especially Federal Universities, and the seeming difficulty in providing some essential services to the students have brought about the sad and inevitable reality.
He maintained that most of the projects executed and being carried out by his administration were personal efforts aimed at developing the fledgling University despite the paucity of funds. He added that as a Chief Executive who is passionate about the progress of the twelve-year-old Institution, he did not just sit comfortably in his office and lament over the deplorable state of education in the country, but rather by thinking outside the box and going the extra mile, he was able to attract such development to FUL.
The Vice-Chancellor, however, urged the student body to channel their appeal to the appropriate authority which is the University's Governing Council for consideration. While assuring the SU leaders that he would personally facilitate and lead them for a meeting with the Pro-Chancellor and Council Chairman with a view to addressing the issue amicably, he further advised them to immediately come up with a formal letter or proposal and ensure that they get their facts right to be forwarded to Council which is the highest decision-making body of the University that has the statutory power to decide on the matter.
Also in attendance at the crucial meeting were the Dean of Student Affairs, Prof. Abdullahi Musa Yusuf, the Chief Security Officer, Rt. Col. Babafemi Sunday Mepaiyeda (Rtd), and officials from the Department of State Services (DSS), among other stakeholders who were present during the fruitful discussion.
Recall that on 20th January 2023, the University Management led by the Vice-Chancellor equally met with all the students' representatives in the University where he earlier informed them about the impending and inevitable hike in school charges.
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