Governor Steps In As Abia Varsity Asks Students To Pay N15,000 ‘Pandemic Prevention Fee’

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu
Governor Steps In As Abia Varsity Asks Students To Pay N15,000 ‘Pandemic Prevention Fee’ - Vantage News Nigeria
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu

The Abia State University (ABSU), has been directed by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to cancel the N15,000 pandemic prevention fee which the university asked its students to pay before they can write their examinations.

The university had instructed the students to make the payment through a memo dated October 21 and signed by the school’s registrar, Acho Elendu.

The school’s management, in a memo, said the fee should be paid through the online payment system of the university, before the commencement of the examinations.

“Having fumigated the Hostels and Lecture halls, Students are expected to return from Monday, November 9, 2020. The First Semester, 2019/2020 Examinations will commence on Monday,16 November 2020,” the memo reads in part.

“All returning students are to pay a Pandemic Prevention Fee of Fifteen Thousand (N15,000) Naira only, ensure Registration of their Courses, to be eligible to participate in the Examinations,” the memo reads.

The school management had also said the students must show evidence of payment before they can be allowed into the school premises.

“Please note, that it is for the student’s health and that of others, that it will be necessary to show evidence of payment of the Pandemic Prevention Fee before entry into any of the campuses. Parents, guardians and the public are to note, as appropriate,” the memo reads.

However, after an outcry by the students and people in the state, Governor Ikpeazu said he has directed the university to scrap the fee.

Ikpeazu said: “Yesterday, I had a Town Hall meeting with students & management of Abia State University where a fee of N25,000 per student was proposed as medical fee but slashed to N15,000 to help ABSU put in place adequate measures to protect the soon to resume students from COVID-19 pandemic.

“In that same meeting, I approved immediate bursary payment to students of Abia origin in ABSU, to alleviate impact of COVID-19 on them & enable them meet the medical fee obligations with ease. However, after a deep review of the agreement & its likely effect on all the students & their parents, I’ve directed the immediate scrapping of the “pandemic prevention fee” by school management. Our government will now go ahead to pay N30,000 to each Abia student in the institution as further support to them, their parents and guardians in this very difficult moment of economic downturn caused by the global health crisis. Let me also add that we are proud of the progress made by the institution in the past 5 years and will continue to support them.”

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