The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has directed the Abia State University (ABSU) to immediately remove the N15,000 ‘pandemic prevention fee’ demanded from resuming students.
The Governor gave the directive on Thursday during a town hall meeting with students and management of the school.
Ikpeazu while ordering the reversal of the fees noted that his government recognizes the effect the COVID-19 pandemic might have had on the economic well-being of various families, hence the decision to reverse the charges.
He added that the fee was initially meant to be used by the school management to put adequate COVID-19 prevention measures in place ahead of the resumption of the students on Monday, 9th November.
The Governor however gave a new directive, stating that government will now pay N30,000 to each Abia student in the institution and provide support for the school itself.
In his words, “Yesterday, I had a Town Hall meeting with students and management of Abia State University where a fee of N25,000 per student was proposed as a 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.”