Reps want hike in fees for Nigeria Law School stopped

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By Disun Amosun

The House of Representatives Wednesday urged the Council of Legal Education to put a stop to the recent 60 percent increase in the school fees of the Nigeria Law School, pending investigation into the matter by its relevant Committees.

The House in plenary adopted a motion by the Minority Leader, Rep. Kingsley Chinda and asked its relevant Committees on Justice and Tertiary Education and Services to explore solutions to the issue at hand and report back within two weeks.

Chinda described the Nigerian Law School as the medium through which the Council of Legal Education discharges its function to regulate the legal education of persons seeking to become members of the legal profession as provided for under Section 1(2) of the Legal Education Act Cap. L10, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The chief sponsor of the motion noted that the function of the Council of Legal Education to oversee legal education in Nigeria includes deciding the cost of tuition and other services rendered to students of the Nigerian Law School.

He stressed that Nigeria is currently facing a 27.33% inflation rate, as reported by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, which is projected by Trade Economics to rise to 30.00% by December 2023.

Chinda expressed concern that in exercising its functions, the Council of Legal Education has approved a 60% increase in Nigerian law school fees from ₦296,000.00 to ₦476,000, for the 2023/2024 Bar Part II academic session.

This he added “does not augur well for the programme, more so as the 2023–2024 Bar Part II Academic session commenced in January 2024 with no time given for prospective students to raise the balance.

He warned that failure to promptly address the need for a balance between the Council’s service quality and students’ affordability could result in a significant drop in Nigerian law school enrollment.

According to him, this in turn would lead to fewer lawyers being called to the Bar, ultimately contributing to a higher national unemployment rate among those unable to pursue legal careers.

When put to vote, the motion got overwhelming support of members at plenary and charged the House relevant committee’s to forensically look into the issue and report back to plenary for further legislative action.