Intervene in recent tuition fee hikes now, NANS, others urge FG
The National Association of Nigerian Students and some rights activists have called on the federal and state governments to immediately look into the recent hike in tuition fees in federal and state universities across the country and find sustainable ways to address the issue.
The call followed the recent increase in tuition and other fees in some public tertiary institutions as part of their plans to cope with the removal of fuel subsidies by the Federal Government which had resulted in an escalation of the cost of living in the country.
Universities that increased their fees include the University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Tai Solarin University of Education, University of Jos, Lagos State University, among others.
However, the development was greeted with protest as stakeholders expressed their dissatisfaction with the raised tuition fees announced.
Speaking with Saturday PUNCH, the Director of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Okafor Ernest, who spoke on behalf of the union, said no school had unilateral power to increase tuition fees.
He said, “The President of NANS, Lucky Omonefe, said no institution had the right to increase the fees, and that currently, parents were suffering to cater for their children and make sure they go to school
Increasing the school fees is also inflicting hardship on the parents, knowing that the country is not stable. We know things are not normal and we have said that there should be no increment for now.”
The former coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students South-West Zone, Samuel Kappo, described the increase as unpleasant considering the hardship parents face.
He said, “I find this unappealing, especially looking at the country where families are struggling to meet up with their needs. The government must see this as a necessity to wind down this increment as it would lead to massive dropout of students. It is noteworthy that education is the bedrock of any nation.”
Also, a students’ activist, Femi Adeyeye, expressed the need for a reversal of fee hikes in all tertiary institutions without delay.
He said, “We are asking for a reversal of the fees to the original fees and we are not asking for a reduction. It’s for the government to fund education, and they can. Today, the kind of economy Nigeria runs is what determines the kind of educational system we’ve.