Tricking someone in order to get money from him for any reason is improper, but when it is done by an organization to a number of people, it becomes “Legal Fraud.” In Nigeria however, such things are not really called fraud, they have a become a legal part of how things are done and no one questions the moral values of such things anymore. Nigerian universities, polytechnics and colleges have coined several smart schemes and methods of collecting money from students and each scheme has a legally recognized name.
This is not to say that it is a bad idea for students to pay fees, dues and levies for certain school facilities but some of the other fees added are highly defrauding, and students usually do not get the value of what they pay for. But since these fees have become a norm, students just murmur and still end up paying every penny to the last kobo. Here are 12 ways Nigerian Tertiary Institutions defraud unsuspecting students.
1. Post UTME Forms and Scratch Cards
Nigerian Institutions are aware of the available admission slots in each of their departments every academic session, yet they sell out post UTME forms and scratch cards to every “jambite” seeking admission. Is this not a smart way to extort students? Some institution go as far as reducing their cut-off marks just to attract these desperate candidates, only to increase the cut-off again after the Post UTME examinations. Their major aim is to make as much sales from scratch cards and forms when in essence, most of the candidates who purchase the forms will not be granted admission.
2. Accreditation Fee
The problem with Nigerian “jambites” is that most of them do not want to lose the admission they had secured after years of staying at home, so they rush to pay any fee they are asked to without thinking of its value or implication. Accreditation fee is supposed to be paid for accreditation, the process where certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented, right? Nigerian Institutions ask for the fee but do not carry out the process, that is defrauding, but then it’s a smart way to siphon more money off of students who can not influence the school’s decision.
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3. Acceptance Fee
Accepting or rejecting admission should be done simply through a written letter or any other form that can act as a formal notification and can be documented. But majority, if not all Nigerian Institutions collect nothing less than 10,000 naira for acceptance fee, before allowing students go ahead to pay school fees and other levies. Does this mean that students who can not afford to pay this fee within a given time would lose their admission? Or should a student also pay for rejecting an admission granted by schools they do not wish to attend?
4. Matriculation Gown Rental
You’ve bought all the cards and paid all the acceptance fees, but it does not end there. To become a full student, you need to matriculate, and to do that, you need a gown, so you pay the school to give you a gown. The money paid to rent matriculation gowns for just a day is huge enough to buy material, sew your own the gown and still have some balance. Some institutions charge 3, 000 Naira for rental, others charge more, and just a few others charge a little less. Before a student gets to the point of matriculating he/she must have paid acceptance fee, accreditation fees and school fees. If institutions can reduce rental fee for this gown to a minimum or better still pay for the gowns from previous fees collected, students will be delighted and relieved at the same time.
5. Faculty/Departmental/Course Registration Fees
Normally, a student who has paid school fees is meant to go ahead with Departmental/Course registration and others at no extra cost. This is not how it is done in Nigerian Institutions. Most times, these fees are included in the break down of school fees, but the school authorities still collect money for the registration, making students pay twice for the same value.
95% of students in Nigeria pay sports fee, either knowingly or not. It is included in the school fees break down, but only a few students partake in sport activities during their course of study. What happens to the money of all those students who have never used the school’s sports facilities? Of course the money is chilling in someone’s account while students suffer in hunger and penury.