Authorities of the Lagos State University (LASU), on Thursday, commenced refund of about N307 million, being the accumulated excess fees paid by the students during the fee hike regime.
Report has it that, the authorities had refunded a total of N209 million to 100 and 200 level direct entry students for 2013/2014 academic session.
The event, which was held at the university auditorium, was attended by students, lecturers and management staff of the university.
At a ceremony organised to mark the commencement of the process, the vice chancellor of LASU, Professor John Obafunwa, described the occasion as an epoch.
He said: “What many had thought was impossible is what we are witnessing today. Some individuals tried to take advantage of the slow pace of the refund and kept saying that the management had no intention of making the refund.
“Government had to look for money everywhere to make the refund. It is a process that involved many people, including the House of Assembly. The governor had to scrutinise all the papers and eventually, approval was given.”
Obafunwa also said the institution had shelved the collection of fees, because it wanted to ensure the refund was made first.
He said: “That is why we did not ask anyone to pay their fees. We wanted to refund the students first. That will put us in a moral position to ask them to pay their fees.”
Further speaking, Prof. John Obafunwa, said the process of the refund had to go through various ministries before it could be approved, adding that the second tranche of the payment would be made in the next two weeks.
“We have assured the students that the money is going to be refunded and we have also asked them to provide their account numbers and other necessary details while we are still pursuing the process. Some students have already received alerts since Monday for the first tranche. Once we receive the second tranche, everybody will be refunded,” Obafunwa stressed.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Chief Fatai Olukoya, who represented Governor Babatunde Fashola, said the exercise was a proof that the government was committed to the fulfilment of the promise it made concerning the refund.
Reading from the governor’s speech, the adviser noted that LASU is, today, the only state university in Nigeria with the lowest fees.