Okezie Ikpeazu, governor of Abia state, has directed the state university to stop the collection of N15,000 “COVID-19 prevention fee.”
The university had, in a memo, asked students to pay the fee ahead of the school’s resumption on November 9.
Students were also asked to bring along evidence of payment as those who don’t would not be allowed to sit for exams.
“Please note that it is for the students’ 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,” the memo read.
But at a town hall meeting with students and management of the university, the governor said he had scrapped the fee, and instead his government will pay N30, 000 to each student as support during this pandemic.
“Yesterday, I had a town mall 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,” he wrote in a tweet.
“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.”