The free education mantra of the Chief Rochas Okorocha administration may have hit a dead end, following the reintroduction of varying fees and charges by the Imo State University management.
Investigations revealed that currently, the “ancillary fees” payable by the students have been dichotomized into indigenes and non-indigenes.
Part of the circular read: “Non-indigene students are hereby reminded once more that Imo State University, IMSU, Owerri, Governing Council, approved the understated school fees for non-indigene students, effective 2015/2016 session.
“The fees are: Faculty of Medicine N190,000, Faculty of Law and Engineering N180,000, and indigenes N20,000.”
The University also reminded the students that “payment of these fees is, in addition to the payment of the Ancillary Fees of N19,500” by all students.
The obviously alarmed students were then advised by IMSU management to “pay up without further delay, as defaulters will pay extra N5,000, and will not be allowed to sit for their semester examination, which has started.” While directing the students to carry their official receipts to the examination halls, the University also warned that “failure to comply will result in such examinations being forfeited.”
When newsmen contacted a functionary of the institution, who pleaded anonymity, he confirmed the development, adding that the payment of the Ancillary Fees cuts across board.
“The payment of the Ancillary Fee of N19,500 cuts across board. This fee covers identity cards, medicals and other necessities,” the officer explained. He also confirmed the payment of a minimum fee of N150,000 for non-indigenes.
“This development is sequel to the observable non-reciprocal gesture by other state governments to Imo indigenes studying in their state tertiary institutions”, the officer said.