Fuel subsidy: Unilorin reels out palliatives for students, staff

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The management of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, has deployed luxury buses to transport students and staff of the institution to the main campus.

This is part of the efforts to cushion the harsh effects of the high cost of transportation as a result of fuel subsidy removal by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

A statement by the institution’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Kunle Akogun, in Ilorin on Wednesday, disclosed that the palliative measure, which is in addition to earlier ones, was announced by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Wahab Olasupo Egbewole, SAN, at the end of the 296th Meeting of the institution’s Senate on Tuesday.

Egbewole, who expressed management’s deep concern over the adverse effect of the exorbitant transportation cost on members of the University community, said that the deployment of the buses was in furtherance to the earlier provision of highly subsidized transportation in which two buses were put on the road in June for a fare of N100 per drop.

The Vice Chancellor pointed out that the University management, being aware that the cost of transportation was biting harder, decided to deploy an additional bus to the route and make the three buses free for students and staff.

The three buses would be stationed at the University Bus Terminus at Tipper Garage, Tanke, between 6:30 am and 7:00 am daily and they would leave for the campus by 7:15 am.

Similarly, for the homeward journey at the close of work/classes, the buses would depart the Fountain Roundabout, near the Senate Building at 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm every day.

The Vice Chancellor also explained that the University management had intensified negotiations with the State government and private commuter bus operators on how they could assist the University in alleviating the transportation hardship facing members of staff and students.

While noting that the negotiation with the State government had resulted in the release of three buses to the University’s route, he said the private commuter bus operators plying the University route had pledged not to charge outlandish fares.

Also, to facilitate the seamless prosecution of the virtual lectures initiative already put in place, Egbewole disclosed that the University management would provide free data for all academic staff.

“The virtual lecture initiative was instituted to reduce the number of times lecturers and their students would have to come to school,” the statement added.

The Vice Chancellor, however, explained that the management would come up with more palliative measures to further cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal once the University Governing Council is in place.

According to him, such other measures, like financial palliatives, are beyond the management as they have to be approved first by the Governing Council.

Egbewole appreciated the students and the staff for their understanding and appealed to them to continue to cooperate with the University management for the sustenance of the existing harmony on the campus and adjoining communities.

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