My dear Students,

One thing you can trust your Vice- Chancellor for is that I will never take you for granted. Your University wants the whole world for you. I do not want anyone to be greater and more important than the great UofA students, and sometime it needs a lot of sacrifice to achieve this ambition!

The issue of charges is a Governing Council affairs and the Council does not toy with it whatsoever. A committee had been working on it for almost a year now, taking into consideration the terrible ever rising inflation, and looking also at charges in sister federal universities. Provost of Health Sciences, Deans of all faculties interacted with their department heads and made presentation to the committee one by one, discussing charges proposals that would be reasonable to ensure that every practical experience needed in every academic programme in their faculties can be provided, and every reagent was costed and step by step the committee considered the minimum charges possible to ensure that your University is in a position to give you a credible experience as students to enable you graduate with knowledge, power and pride.

It is unthinkable for the University of Abuja Management to accept that because some people did not go to American University in Yola or Nile-Turkish University in Abuja where they pay millions of naira per academic year as tuition, that those people should be condemned to a second class education.

Our goal at the UofA is a world -class education and even with N82,000 per year or N225, 000 per session being asked for academic programmes in Arts or Medicine respectively, the UofA is determined to provide for our dear Students a standard education that is respected globally.

The Committee that worked on the charges, under the leadership of the University Bursary, included Students Affairs Unit, Student UNION Government and other stake holders from across the management.

My dear Students, you will agree with me that getting materials needed for education is one of the most daunting tasks for educational institutions. These charges being introduced reflect the serious national inflation and the UofA’s determination that our students cannot and must not receive second class education!

Look around the campus, we are creating computer laboratories, we are developing Sports Arena and Indoor Sports Hall, we are upgrading the University Library ensuring that both physically and virtually students can access library materials, we are providing counselling and career services to students, we are employing our own students and student workers are becoming the norm on campus of the great UofA, we are strengthening student mentoring programme on campus, the face of our campus is changing whatever part of campus you go.

Just think for a minute, much as some people want students to insist on status quo and cause violence and distrust because of the rise in charges, you know that your University has not stopped improving your standard and providing the services required more than ever before.

Many students now get funds for undergraduate research work from the Centre for Undergraduate Research, the Centre for Entrepreneurship is working hard with the University Management to create Incubation where students as they graduate and need help would get the help they need to get their companies on a strong footing, and the list is truly very long.

The University of Maiduguri and the University of Ilorin and the Federal University Lokoja etc, all have charges more than your UofA, even while they are not Abuja where costs of goods are crazy! Yet they go about academic session peacefully and making progress.

My dear Students, the University Management is about to advertise for scholarship programmes to be instituted on campus for needy students and for students who demonstrate exceptional skills and brilliance. Help is under way for those who need help, and truly your University will not leave you without help! I also here appeal to those UofA students whose parents are well-to-do to encourage their parents to institute scholarship at this University to help your colleagues who might be needy, or target scholarship to women or specific academic discipline or even general cause, and they can name such scholarships after themselves, their parents or any person of their interest.

Finally, I want to appeal to you not to join any gangs that would want to create violence on campus due to the increase in fees!

Some people who are instigating students don’t have their children here and would not ask their own children, if they have them at the UofA, to lead violence.

The repercussion is swift and merciless. If anyone is caught anywhere destroying anything or simply disturbing the peace of our campus, I promise you I will descend heavily on such a person by showing him or her a way out. It will pain me to take such action but trust me I will do so. And those faceless people who might not be our students and are being sponsored from outside, some former students, should just think for a moment what the UofA has turned into in its merge to becoming world class. We are ready to meet anyone and discuss as civilised people but we are also ready to keep the peace no matter what!

This is a tough time in our country and no right thinking person would abandon dialogue to violence. Management is ready, I must say this again, to continue to dialogue with students while the new semester continues. Some people are not happy that the UofA is moving on where some Universities are speeding backward in reverse. Those people don’t want our academic calendar to continue to achieve the level of success it has achieved with the great UofA students graduating regularly and on time, despite recent lecturers strike and despite the corona pandemic lock down before it.

The Portal would be opened for students to start registration. The University will not send anyone away from classes due to delay in course registration. The four months of this semester will be open for students to register courses as they are able to pay, so that no pressure is put on any student or any parent. However a few weeks before the end of this semester the Portal will close for good and anyone who fails to register their courses would have forfeited their studentship for the academic year. Please take this opportunity and continue to have faith in your University. You will NEVER regret it!

I like to thank the fees committee for the important efforts in putting this together and I commend Student Affairs Unit, the Student UNION Government, the Safety Unit, the Provost and the Deans and the HODs, and all the other stakeholders for being a partner in progress in the UofA’s march to greatness.

See you around and thank you again!

Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah

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