A student organisation under the aegis Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike has announced a protest against the University of Lagos (UNILAG) administration’s fee increase.
Group’s spokespersons, Tosin Solanke and Abayomi Godwin, in a statement to newsmen on Saturday, stated that it had “become imperative to inform the public of a mass protest against fee hike scheduled to start on September 6, 2023, as students, parents, civil society organisations, and informal workers, are set to hit the streets to say enough of untold hardship meted out to us.”
Recall that UNILAG’s management announced an increase in tuition prices for the institution’s undergraduate students on July 21, 2023, citing “prevailing economic realities.”
The fee was from N19,000 to N190,250 for students studying medicine while for courses that require laboratory and studio, the students are to pay N140,250.
Information Nigeria understands that the group, a handful of its members, had on Thursday gathered at Arise Television Complex after marching around the Ikoyi and Falomo areas of Lagos to sensitise passersby to the trend of fee hike in some varsities.
They noted that the UNILAG management had failed to call the student delegation for a further meeting.
Since the wake of the announced fee hike by the UNILAG management, they noted that “we in the Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike engaged in a series of actions to enlighten members of the public of the dangers that this anti-poor policy portends for the generality of the people.
“Our argument remains that the responsibility of funding public education can not be shifted to poor students and their parents even in a draining economy such as this. We also maintain that the decision taken by the UNILAG management, supervised by their employers, remains authoritarian and economically inconsiderate.
“It is also important to state that after engaging in a discussion, and for over four weeks, the UNILAG Management has failed in its promise to reconvene the meeting with the student delegation.”
When reached by Punch, UNILAG spokesperson Adejoke Alaga-Ibraheem requested a text message be sent to her; as of the time of publication, she had not reply.
Speaking further, the student group said, “Our lecturers, some of whom are postgraduate students, including those who are sponsors (parents/guardians) to many students, would not be able to afford these fees.
“The protests will be comprehensive and total until fees are reverted.”
Contacted over the planned protest, the National Public Relations Officer of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Giwa Temitope, said the move was a nice development.
“It’s a nice one coming from them because the fees are unbearable at this time when there is hardship in the country,” Giwa said.
He lamented that some parents had up to two or three students in schools and it would be difficult for them to cater for such wards.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on July 31, directed the authorities in all federal institutions of higher learning to avoid arbitrary increases in sundry fees payable and where possible defer further increases so that parents and students would not face too much difficulty.