On KASU fees hike and Lawal Adamu’s scholarship scheme

It is no longer news that Kaduna state government has increased the tuition fees of its higher institutions. Worse affected are the students of Kaduna State University (KASU).

These students who come mostly from poor families are expected to pay N200,000 as tuition fees as against the affordable N26,000 they used to pay in the past.

Disturbed by this development, the students staged a peaceful protest last week to press home or call the attention of government to the need to reverse its decision or at least reduce the tuition fees to a bearable level.

However, hope was lost when representatives of the students met with government officials and all appeals to accede to the demand of the frustrated and hapless students fell on deaf ears as both the secretary to the state government and the state deputy governor turned down the request of the students. Prior to the meeting between representatives of the students and government, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) reported that over 75% of the KASU students may drop out of the school due to the hike in tuition fees.

Going back to memory lane, when the Kaduna state governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai came on board in 2015, his government promised to make education affordable to the poor people of the state. Sadly, his hurriedly packaged education policies instead of improving education have made it worst. The state government should have widely consulted or looked at the worsening economic condition of the poor parents before coming up with the new tuition fees regime. The increment of tuition fees by 500% in Kaduna state while other states like Oyo and Jigawa are subsidising education, is unbecoming and negates the governor’s much talked about free education policy. You don’t need to be told that many students may be forced to drop out of school as reported by ASUU. No one can rule out the fact that frustration could force these poor students to become criminals.

It is when parents and students were lamenting, weighing their last option for survival that succour finally knocked their doors. Lawal Adamu Usman, a philanthropist and politician of great repute, worried by the unjustifiable increase in tuitions fees, through his foundation doled out N30 million as scholarship to KASU students. Although, this is not the first time he is reaching out to students in need, the huge amount of N30million set aside by his foundation has recieved commendation from the parents and ASUU.

The scholarship has come at a time when all available options have been explored by the parents to force government to reverse the obnoxious policies to no avail. On Monday, May 31, 2021, a portal that will allow students to apply for the scholarship was opened to every student from the 23 local government areas of Kaduna state. Within a day, not less than 3,500 students had applied.

Interestingly, according to Lawal Adamu Usman, every student who meet the requirements will get his or her scholarship paid. Without mincing words, in the history of Kaduna state, no individual has done what Mr LA is doing to alleviate the suffering of the common man.

Lawal Adamu Usman has never held any political office but has been touching the lives of the people in many ways. No wonder he has become the darling of the talakawa and his name rings a bell in all the nooks and crannies of Kaduna state.

Ibrahim Mustapha,
Pambegua, Kaduna state