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Reps Move To Abolish Payment of Acceptance Fees In Tertiary Institutions

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The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to “immediately” abolish the payment of acceptance fees into Tertiary Institutions in the country.

This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Chinedu Martins (PDP-Imo) during the plenary presided over by the Speaker of the house, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday.

The motion is titled: “Call for Abolishment of Acceptance Fees into Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria”.

Moving the motion, Martins said that recent data from the National Universities Commission showed that only about two million people were enrolled in the universities nationwide out of a population of over 180 million.

He said that the estimates represented one percent of the population which was an indication of the low attendance in tertiary institutions compared to other advanced countries.

The lawmaker also said additional data from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board showed that out of the 10 million applicants that sought admissions into tertiary institutions, only 26 percent gained admissions between 2010 and 2015.

He said it was an indication that about 75 percent of the applicants failed to gain admissions every year and also reinforced that access to tertiary education in the country was low.

“The house is concerned that one of the factors contributing to poor access to tertiary education is the predatory admission policies being enforced by tertiary institutions, particularly the requirement for payment of non-refundable acceptance fees as a condition precedent for admissions.

“The house is also concerned that many federally-operated tertiary institutions charge as much as N30, 000 per student, while some states and private institutions charge significantly more, as evidenced in the following:

“University of Ibadan, N35,000; University of Lagos, N20,000; Ahmadu Bello University, N30,000; Imo State University, N70,000; and Lagos State University, N20,000.

“The house is further concerned that applicants are expected to pay the acceptance fees within a short deadline despite having gone through the tortuous process of paying and sitting for the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) and making the cut-off mark.

“If they are unable to meet the deadline, the applicants are surcharged for late payment with the risk of losing the offer of admissions.”

The lawmakers also said that the aspirations of prospective students would be cut short if the “exploitative admission practices of tertiary institutions in the country are left unchecked”.

The reps directed the House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to investigate the admission policies and practices of tertiary institutions in the country.

The investigation would relate to the charge of acceptance fees and would also be in order to remove all obstacles to accessing tertiary education in the country, reports the News Agency of Nigeria

 

 

(NAN).

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: Ebonyi Governor Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease.

This was contained in a statement personally signed by him on Saturday.

Details later…

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BIG STORY

Heritage Bank Shuts Branch For Disinfection Over Suspected Coronavirus Case

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Heritage Bank Plc said it has closed down an Experience Centre- EC (branch) at Allen Avenue; Ikeja over the “unconfirmed case” of Coronavirus for deep hygiene clean up after an employee took ill last week.

The bank in a statement made available to the press and customers noted: “in line with our emergency response plan and following regulatory practices, we have taken immediate steps to close down Allen Avenue, Ikeja Experience Centers- EC (branch) for thorough disinfection of the affected location.”

Contrary to rumour, the bank disclosed that whilst the suspected staff awaits her medical test from the Covid-19 Test Centre in Yaba, she had not exhibited any symptoms related to the virus.

“Neither of the suspected person or others in the EC had exhibited any symptoms,” the bank said in the statement.

Specifically, the bank stated that staff were advised to self-isolate for 14days forthwith which was in consonance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The bank stated that the EC will undergo “thorough disinfection,” further affirmed, “Customers and staff safety remains paramount; hence we will recommence business with a new set of relief employees, as the current staff self-isolate.”

In the interim, the bank advised customers, “please visit other ECs or branches in Ikeja where you can conduct your daily transactions. Otherwise, you can use our alternate e-channels for seamless service deliveries.

“Heritage Bank remains resolute to continually serve you seamlessly despite prohibitions imposed on physical contact through our bouquet of electronic products which have been made available on notable mobile stores and our website (www.hbng.com).”

The bank noted that it would continue to intensify ongoing efforts via its intranet and other channels to keep staff and customers up-to-date with the latest COVID-19 information and provide clear direction and guidance expected of workers and customers.

“We have set up a COVID-19 Support Centre to offer COVID-19 safety tips to all our customers during this period, in support of the efforts of the Government and relevant bodies. Please send any information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic via these channels: E-mail: [email protected] and contact number: 01-2369099,” the bank stated.

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Hushpuppi Conspired To Defraud Premier League Club Of $124 Million

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United States authorities on Friday said an English Premier League club was among the victims the suspected Nigerian fraudster Igbalode Ramoni Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi, conspired to defraud.

US Department of Justice said Hushpuppi will face criminal charges, alleging he conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from business email compromise (BEC) frauds and other scams, including schemes targeting a U.S. law firm, a foreign bank and an unnamed English Premier League soccer club.

“Abbas and others further conspired to launder hundreds of millions of dollars from other fraudulent schemes and computer intrusions, including one scheme to steal £100 million (approximately $124 million) from an English Premier League soccer club, the complaint alleges,” the Department of Justice said in a statement on Friday.

Abbas, popularly known as Huspuppi was arrested earlier in June along with Olalekan Jacob Ponle, also known as Woodberry and 10 others.

The 12 suspects were arrested in six simultaneous raids carried out by the e-police unit of the Dubai Police.

The gang was responsible for Dh1.6 billion (about N169 billion) fraud involving over 1.9 million victims. Items worth N15.845 billion (Dh 150 million) were also seized.

13 luxury cars worth N2. 640 billion (Dh 25 million), 21 laptops, 47 smartphones, 15 memory storage devices, 5 external hard drives, and 800, 000 emails of potential victims were also recovered from the gang.

Their arrest in an operation codenamed Fox Hunt 2 came after about four months of painstaking investigations into their activities., during which their social media activities were monitored by the highly trained police unit.

The video posted by the Dubai Media Office said their police were able to track the locations of the suspected fraudsters using their social media activities.

The Dubai Police said the Hushpuppi and his gang specialized in hacking corporate emails and then send fictitious messages to the clients of the companies whose email accounts they have hacked to redirect financial transactions and bank details to their own accounts.

“This was a challenging case, one that spanned international boundaries, traditional financial systems and the digital sphere,” said Jesse Baker, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Los Angles Field Office.

The DoJ affidavit alleges that Abbas and others committed a BEC scheme that defrauded a client of a New York-based law firm out of approximately $922,857 in October 2019.

DoJ said Abbas and co-conspirators allegedly tricked one of the law firm’s paralegals into wiring money intended for the client’s real estate refinancing to a bank account that was controlled by Abbas and the co-conspirators.

The Dubai Police said he and Woodberry were extradited to the United States this week to face charges of money laundering. If convicted, Hushpuppi would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.

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