SPECIAL REPORT BY MIKE CERUTTI
As if reading or obeying the words of late nelson Mandela who said "“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has reduced the fees of the state university students by N10,000 thereby bringing to an end the intractable agitation by students for tuition slashing.
Recall that tuition was increased by former Governor Martin Elechi, a development that led to protests by the students.
Umahi had during his campaign assured he would reduce the fees if supported to win 2015 governorship election.
The governor, who announced the reduction on Friday during an interactive forum with the management and staff of the niversity at the permanent site, Ezzamgbo, explained that the reduction which would take effect from next year was for both students of Ebonyi origin and non-Ebonyians.
The non-indigenes were paying N128,000 while indigenes pay N87,000 prior to the reduction by the governor.
Umahi, who had while making his remarks noted that the reduction was necessary because students of the university paid almost the highest fees in the South- East and South-South, explained that the slash was to cushion the suffering of the students and their parents.
He however enjoined the students to avoid cultism and criminal tendencies in order to continue to enjoy the tuition reduction.
The governor had while announcing 3,000 bags of rice and N10 million for the students of the university as their Christmas gifts, over heard them chanting,"reduce our fees, reduce our fees."
He also donated two buses to the Students Union Government for easy transportation of students to lectures.
Before then, he announced the donation of rice each to all staff of the university with N5m to be shared by them for the Yuletide.He he told the students to continue to partner with his government.
Umahi approved all promotions of the university staff which had been kept on hold for years and gave the university authorities N100m loan for agricultural activities.
The declaration caused a wide jubilation among the students and staff who sang and thanked the governor for his largesse.
Umahi also avised that for any student to graduate from the Department of Agriculture,he/she should have at least one hectare of farm.
The Acting Vice Chancellor of the University,Prof. Francis Idike who commended the governor for gazetting the university staff and bringing commendable changes to the system.
He assured the preparedness of the university community to toeing the vision and mission of his administration.