The Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike in Ikwo Local Government Area of Ebonyi on Saturday denied media reports alleging that the institution had increased student accommodation fee from N70, 000 to N300, 000.
The denial is contained in a statement issued to reporters in Abakaliki by the institution’s spokesperson, Mr. Ikechukwu Ubochi.
Citing a publication with the title, “Top Government University In Ebonyi Increases Hostel Fee From N70,000 To N300,000, Students Kick”, Ubochi said: “The attention of the Management of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, has been drawn to a misleading publication in an online platform, Sahara Reporters of Aug. 6.
“The University notes that the said publication and others trending online is (are) laced with lies and half-truths meant to discredit the integrity and reputation of the university as one of the most serious public universities in Nigeria.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the hostel fee for medical students in the university is N50, 000 and a refundable caution fee of N20,000, making it a total of N70, 000 per session.
“However, in September 2021, our 400 level medical students are expected to commence their clinical studies at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
“More importantly, the concerned students are expected to be residents at the teaching hospital which is about 25 kilometers from the university campus at Ikwo.
“However, the Medical students’ hostel at the teaching hospital is still under construction and will be completed in 2022.
“Thus, the university had two options – one is to suspend the clinical training till the students’ hostel is completed; second, is to devise another means of providing alternative accommodation to the students.
“The university, in the interest of the students, meant to ensure that their academic activities are not suspended, negotiated with a private estate owner to rent their fully furnished building, with 150 KVA standby power generating set for uninterrupted power supply, located about 200 meters from the hospital, as a hostel for the students,” the spokesperson explained.
Ubochi added that the move was only a stop-gap mechanism as the students were expected to move into the school hostel being constructed at the teaching hospital immediately upon completion by 2022.
“This will automatically normalize their hostel fees.
“This interim measure which will cost each student N300,000 will ensure that their academic activities are not put on hold,” he added.
According to him, this will help the school in view of the upcoming visitation of the accreditation team of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria by February 2022.
“It is also important to note that the hostel fees the students are paying are not even enough to offset the total cost of renting the building as the students are only 38 in number.
“Management will augment the shortfall.
“It is therefore surprising that mischief-makers and fifth columnists are latching on this interim decision geared towards the sustenance of the academic activities of our students, to denigrate and blackmail the university in the public domain,” he added.