The House of Representatives on Wednesday called for the abolishment of 'acceptance fees' paid by students offered admission into various institutions in Nigeria.
A motion moved by Emeka Chinedu, PDP-Imo (Ahiazu Mbaise/Ezinihitte Federal Constituency), Wednesday got the lawmakers debating about how to reverse this trend.
Leading the debate, Mr Chinedu said 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 a condition precedent for admission".
He added that "it should bother the lawmakers that his state's Imo State University charges N70,000 as acceptance fee."
"Other institutions like the University of Ibadan charge 35,000; University of Lagos, 20,000; Ahmadu Bello University, 30,000; Lagos State University, N20,000; University of Uyo, 25,000," he said.
He, therefore, moved that the fee be abolished. He was unanimously backed by his colleagues.
The House also mandated the House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services "to investigate the admission policies and practices of tertiary institutions in the country as they relate to the charge of acceptance fees in order to remove all obstacles to accessing tertiary education in the country."
Meanwhile, Idowu Olayinka, vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, has said his institution will comply with the directive.
He said the amount accruing to the University of Ibadan, for instance, in a year is not enough to fund the university in a month. "Therefore, the school has to look for alternative means to source for funds".
"Someone has to take up the bill," he said. "We have to make up our mind on what we really want. You can't even run a creche without funds. In a year, we spend at least N200 million on our clinic contactors. Add this to electricity bill and diesel, then you're talking of over N800 million.
"What the university is getting for overhead is less than N100 million. So where do you think the remaining N700 million will come from? Unless you want to close down the whole university," he added.