OAU student leaders meet over N100,000 ‘professional fee’

The leadership of the Students’ Union of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, said it was holding a crucial meeting on Thursday following a new “professional fee” purportedly introduced at the university’s College of Health Sciences by the administrators.

It was gathered that the college management at a colloquium on Thursday announced a N100,000 professional fee to be paid by the students beginning from the next session.

OAU is rounding off its 2021/22 session as the school resumes from the election break.

 “Now they said if we like we should call the Students’ Union, that they are ready to close the college. That it is not their time that we would waste,” a medical student who spoke on condition of anonymity told The PUNCH.

Confirming the development, the Student’s Union leaders in a statement by the President, Secretary-General, and Public Relations Officer, Olayiwola Festus; Odewale Damilare and Ogunperi Taofeek respectively, stated the union was holding an “emergency meeting.”

“This evening, it was brought to the attention of the leadership of the Union that there is an increment of N100,000 tagged ‘medical professional fees’ in the College of Health Sciences of the University.

“In order to address this issue properly and tackle the increment, and for the benefit of students, the Central Executive Council is holding an emergency meeting immediately,” the statement said.

Our correspondent had yet to receive reports from the meeting as of press time.

The PUNCH is also expecting a response from the varsity spokesperson, Abiodun Olanrewaju, on the development, as a message has been put across to him.

In 2018, medical students at the college unanimously rejected the introduction of an N85,000 professional training fee. 

It was gathered that the then management of the college under the Provost, Professor T.K Ijadunola, directed all the student leaders of the various faculties under the aegis of the college of health sciences, to meet with their fellow students, and to decide on the proposed levy.

After a series of meetings held by the nursing, medical and dental students, it was learnt that the students rejected the levy and charged their leaders to go back for better negotiations with the college administrators.

At a meeting of some student representatives and the OAU College of health sciences administrators held on October 17, 2018, the Provost, T.K Ijadunola, stated that the N85,000 levy was as a result of the financial challenges battled in federal colleges of medicine, including OAU.

“The current training of medical students is bankrolled by alumni, friends and staff of the college and this isn’t exclusive to Ife, it is the same in all Federal Government owned schools. Fatigue is beginning to set in. It’s high time students and parents began to have a say in the training by putting their money where their mouth is,” a Premium Times report quoted the Provost as saying in 2018. 

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