NANS warns universities to reverse fee increases or risk widespread protests.

Aug 4, 2023 - 19:59
 0  46
NANS warns universities to reverse fee increases or risk widespread protests.

When educational institutions raise tuition across their campuses, the National Association of Nigerian Students has threatened to strike.

NANS leaders challenged university administration to follow President Bola Tinubu's order to stop fee increases on their campuses during a press conference on Friday at the International Press Centre in Ikeja, Lagos.

"We want to take this opportunity to warn that failing to follow the Federal Government's direction on the subject of fee augmentation will force us to start a national conflict.

The NANS National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope, declared, "We will not only bring our protests to the streets, but also to your respective university gates."

President Tinubu issued a directive on July 31, 2023, instructing officials in all federal institutions of higher learning to avoid arbitrary increases in sundry fees payable and, whenever possible, postpone additional increases to minimize hardship for parents and students.

The University of Lagos' administration announced an increase in the undergraduate program's tuition costs on July 21, 2023, citing "prevailing economic realities."

The management raised the tuition for students studying medicine from N19,000 to N190,250, while charging N140,250 for courses requiring lab and studio work.

However, NANS stated that on August 2, 2023, it met with UNILAG officials "and requested that the previously announced fee rise be suspended. We also want to applaud the Vice Chancellor for keeping his word that our demands would be thoroughly reviewed.

Similar meetings, according to the student body, were held with the administration of other tertiary schools, including the University of Benin, the University of Ibadan, and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

Our actions, which included writing to the Presidency to urge a complete halt in the wave of fee hikes, were met with a favorable response. As the umbrella organization of the students' movement, we have swung into action to prevent this disgraceful trend of fee hikes.

"However, we are aware of recalcitrant individuals among numerous university administrators. Because of this, we also felt free to write to tertiary institutions that had raised their fees, Giwa continued.

The NANS representative acknowledged that universities lacked adequate funding, but claimed that it was the government's duty to do so rather than the already underprivileged parents who were struggling to feed their families.

The student body asked all NANS organs and presidents of students' unions to begin organizing their constituents for a full-scale confrontation "in the event that any tertiary institution decides to dare our resolve to fight for our right to public education."

What's Your Reaction?