Nothing is offered for OOU N5000 tech fee, students accuse management of fraud

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“No Value for monies forced out of our pockets” – Students cry out.

The Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, a state-owned University by the Ogun state operates on four campuses. The permanent site is located at Ago-Iwoye, while others are located at Sagamu, Ayetoro and Ibogun.
With thirteen faculties, the school runs a degree and Diploma Programs. The school has produced over 265,000 graduates and postgraduates in the last 40 years of its existence.

OOU gate

Sometimes in January 2021, following the resumption of academic activities after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarked on a long and comprehensive strike which led to the shutdown of universities for eight months, the school management of the institution introduced an additional levy tagged “Technology fee”.

The rationale for the levy according to the school management was to ensure ICT Integration and virtual learning, which will result to improvement in quality education.

But for students of this institution and their parents, it has been unending lamentations emanating from this levy and other illegal increase in payments from the school. The school reportedly increased the transcripts fee from N8,000 to N40,000 in November last year, before a slight reduction was considered.

An average student in OOU pays school fee levies ranging from ₦77,872 to ₦176,396 for both new and old students. The introduction of the technology fee was a compulsory payment of an additional #5,000 by all students irrespective of departments, degree or programs.

Our reporter confirmed from several students that failure to pay the technology fee levy leads to incomplete registration as students can’t proceed further in their course form registration which will enable them write their exams.

Moshood Olalekan, a student of the Department of Computer Science, stated that he had to engage in extra menial labour to raise the #5,000 levy imposed by the school management, after paying the school fees, as he is self sponsored.
Similarly, a student of the university who preferred not to be named for fear of victimisation mentioned that the levy has not been used judiciously by the school management, as he has received no value for it. He further stated that the use of the e-library has not been effective as compared to other institutions.

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Also, Joseph Alimi (Not real name), a 300 level student of the faculty of law told Ogunwatch that consecutively billing students for the fee in question could be equated to fraud, calling on economic fraud fighting agencies to investigate the action of the school’s management.

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When our reporter visited the school campus, it was discovered that there’s no provision for Wifi access for the students, as most of them struggle to attend virtual classes due to an erratic network connection by the network providers.

Lack of access to technology or good internet connectivity is an obstacle to continued learning, especially for students from disadvantaged families.
Several students, taking to various social media platforms, have showed displeasure over the payment, noting that the levy has been an extortion, without gaining a value for it.

A Twitter user, @eniola_olayi stated “The technology fee is more of a problem,even data connection around motion ground and LLT are bigger problem”.
Another user with Twitter ID @motundeee tweeted “Wetin OOU Dey do ? After paying so much . Still pay 5k technology fee for what I still don’t know the use.”

Findings by our reporter indicates that although, the school management has incorporated e-learning into it’s teaching modules, an improved access to technology will ensure an effective use.

In a telephone interview with Ogunwatch, the Students’ Union Government (SUG) Financial Secretary, Nasir Monsuru maintained that although the technology fee isn’t a new development, the reason for the complain is because they are not getting value for the money being paid.

“The technology fee is not a new development it started during the Covid 19 pandemic after the Covid the school had to put some measures into place since its not every time we go to school then. We had to pay for technology fee so that they could provide internet facilities in the school where by every student will have access to it.

“Sometimes students would be in school, the lecturers might not attend to them but they would be able to access the internet and receive lectures online.

“So its not a new fee, the reason why students are complaining now is because they no longer have access to the WIFI in school due to the network issues unlike during the Covid period where it was 90% effective.

He however implored the institution to improve the wifi services so as for student to get value for the money being paid.

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“I want to implore the school to improve because most lecturer give assignment online and instead of going through stress of submitting this assignments we can do that online so I wouldn’t say they should scrap it rather I would say they should improve in their service so the student can see what they are paying for.

Meanwhile a 300 level Science and Technology Education student who pleaded anonymous while speaking to OgunWatch disclosed that the fee which is being paid every session for virtual

classes aren’t necessary since these classes are usually held on the Microsoft Teams app where they end up using their personal datas for it.

“The technology fee is a sum of #5000 imposed on all student of OOU for the sake of virtual classes, it is compulsory and we pay for it every session with access to the school’s ICT wifi only within the ICT building premises.

“Funny enough our virtual classes are held on the Microsoft Teams app and we use our personal data for the classes .
“We are not even seeing the use of this fee made compulsory by the school, we know how much we pay for our school fee and other fees in school? Why Tech fee again? We are tired and helpless” she lamented.

Meanwhile the SUG PRO Israel Sogunro popularly known as Prof Lee told OgunWatch that complains were already channeled to the school and they claimed to have rectified all issues pertaining to the Wi-Fi.

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“About a month ago the student union held a meeting with the university management it was made known to the union that most of the Wi-Fi services has been put in place because that is the main reason for the technology fee and students can now access this services anywhere on campus.

Responding to the use of personal data by students for their classes he said, “Although some haven’t gotten their passwords because for them to access this Wi-Fi service they need a password, so some are yet to get it and due to the stress of going to the ICT they use their personal data.

However, the acting DSA of the university, Dr. Moruff Sanjo Oladimeji, in an interview with OgunWatch claimed that the Wi-Fi which is even extended to the hostel is without passwords.

“Every student in the school have the right to enjoy free data and I must tell you it is even extended to the hostels and it is without any password. In the ICT, Senate building and the rest you don’t need password for that.

“On the network issues i don’t think thats the fault of the management even the one we buy in our different homes its not all the time we get value for it.

“But I want to tell you that the school management under the leadership of Professor Deji Agboola is actually working seriously to make sure that the network is okay, its not something we can do we can only be at fault if we fail to subscribe but once we do that and the network is still giving us problem the best thing to do is contact the service provider and to my best of knowledge they have done that” he said.

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