The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to “immediately” abolish the payment of acceptance fees into Tertiary Institutions in the country.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Chinedu Martins (PDP-Imo) during the plenary presided over by the Speaker of the house, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday.
The motion is titled “Call for Abolishment of Acceptance Fees into Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria”.
Moving the motion, Martins said that recent data from the National Universities Commission showed that only about two million people were enrolled into the universities nationwide out of a population of over 180 million.
He said that the estimates represented one per cent of the population which was an indication of the low attendance in tertiary institutions compared to other advanced countries.
The lawmaker also said additional data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board showed that out of the 10 million applicants that sought admissions into tertiary institutions, only 26 per cent gained admissions between 2010 and 2015.
He said it was an indication that about 75 per cent of the applicants failed to gain admissions every year and also reinforced that access to tertiary education in the country was low.
“The house is concerned that one of the factors contributing to poor access to tertiary education is the predatory admission policies being enforced by tertiary institutions, particularly the requirement for payment of non-refundable acceptance fees as condition precedent for admissions.
“The house is also concerned that many federally-operated tertiary institutions charge as much as N30, 000 per student, while some States and private institutions charge significantly more, as evidenced in the following:
“University of Ibadan, N35,000; University of Lagos, N20,000; Ahmadu Bello University, N30,000; Imo State University, N70,000; and Lagos State University, N20,000.
“The house is further concerned that applicants are expected to pay the acceptance fees within a short deadline despite having gone through the tortuous process of paying and sitting for the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) and making the cut off mark.
“If they are unable to meet the deadline, the applicants are surcharged for late payment with the risk of losing the offer of admissions.”
The lawmakers also said that the aspirations of prospective students would be cut short if the “exploitative admission practices of tertiary institutions in the country are left unchecked”.
The reps directed the House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to investigate the admission policies and practices of tertiary institutions in the country.
The investigation would relate to the charge of acceptance fees and would also be in order to remove all obstacles to accessing tertiary education in the country.