Ladies and gentlemen.
I personally discourage governance of institutions on social media but we must also appreciate that the social media offers us an opportunity to explain issues to many people who otherwise may not be able to have quality information on what affects them. In this particular case, I would want to give the raw information and step back to allow you make up your mind on the issue.
BSU has about 25,282 undergraduate students between 7 Faculties. At the moment, 13, 082 of these students are fully registered and have paid ALL their students charges. 6, 562 of these have paid their student charges but are not fully registered. Only 5,638 students have neither paid their student charges nor registered. These figures show that anyone blaming delayed salaries for the BSU challenge is only marketing mischief.
Now let us try to understand one thing. Registration is basic in any university system worth its salt. We must admit that BSU and other institutions in Nigeria maybe distortions, for how else can you be a student in a university and refuse to register? How do we know what courses you have registered for, how many credit units you have done in any semester and whether you have met the minimum threshold for moving from one level or the other and graduating? If you for example do not register but come and take the exams in the courses you want, what is the difference between you and the person who comes from Wurukum to do the exams? This is the distortion the BSU management wanted to correct and they have 100% support of Council to do this.
In the past when ‘student’ were allowed to do what they wanted, we discovered that many at the end of their 400 levels would not even get the minimum credit unit threshold to graduate. Some who were dishonest would find ways to smuggle their names into the names of graduating students , the situation was messy and unacceptable. We want to get BSU to the next level, make it competitive, nationally and internationally.
We admit there are many things we MUST correct to reach the next level. We are ready for these corrections and many require a change of attitude/orientation. Many will require that we stop doing the things we were used to and try new and better ways of doing things. In this particular case, we think, those who come to BSU as students, must pay student user charges, they must also register because its only after registration that the system can consider them as students and treat them as such. This is fair enough. Anything else is anarchy.
Let us also remember that there are primary and secondary schools in Benue state that are charging higher fees than BSU and we have our children there. There are public and private universities in other parts of the country charging much higher fees with our children attending and paying. Why would we want to destroy our only university? The Visitor to the university came in and singled out the institution for priority treatment. He has consistently gone out of his way to make sure salaries there are up to date and arrears are also flowing as best as they can. Why would any sane person want to disrupt such efforts.? Politics? What type of politics is this? . We want every stakeholder to help us to correct the distortions at BSU.
While the university remains closed, Senate has been mandated to meet and review the issue to ensure we return to normalcy as soon as possible. We will work towards a win win situation and we appeal to parents to impress on the few students who are still in the hostels to vacate the hostels because the school has been closed. Parents should come and pick up their wards and those with influence on the leadership of the students should assure them that we mean well and the issues will be resolved with speed to enable us continue with the exams. In the meantime, we expect the hostels to be vacated.