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HomeGeneral NewsUNIVERSITY OF LAGOS STUDENTS DECLARE SEPTEMBER 6 FOR PROTESTS AGAINST FEES HIKE

UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS STUDENTS DECLARE SEPTEMBER 6 FOR PROTESTS AGAINST FEES HIKE

Students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) under the aegis of Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike have scheduled Wednesday September 6 for mass protest across all the campuses of the institution against astronomic fees hike.

The students’ solidarity group in a statement on saturday demanded an immediate reversal of the school fees as well as proper funding of education by President Bola Tinubu-led government.

It called on Nigerian students across the country to reject what it described as unconscionable fee hikes.

According to the students group, the mass protest against fee hike have become imperative “as all Nigerian students, parents, civil society organisations, informal workers, are set to hit the streets to say enough of untold hardship meted to us”.

The group recalled that in the wake of the announced fee hike by the University, which according to the group was poorly orchestrated by the Tinubu-led Federal Government and the UNILAG Management, “we in the Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike engaged in series of actions to enlighten members of the public of the dangers this anti-poor policy portends for the generality of the people.

“Our argument remains that the responsibility of funding public education cannot be shifted to poor students and their parents even in a drowning economy such as this. We also maintain that the decision taken by the UNILAG Management, supervised by their employers, remains authoritarian, illogical and economically inconsiderate.

“It is also important to state that after engaging in a discussion and for over 4 weeks, the UNILAG Management has failed in its promise to reconvene the meeting with the student delegation.

“We are civil and we believe our civility should be reciprocated with respect, especially from people saddled with the responsibility of serving the public.

The students group further noted that “The social consequences of this menace at our door steps cannot be overemphasised. If allowed to stand, many of our colleagues will drop out, says the survey we conducted. Dreams will be shattered.

“The social inequality gap will be widened by this inhumane action. Those who will manage not to drop out of school, will drop out of class, i.e. they won’t stay in class, as the fee hike will push everyone to become compulsory hustlers”.

They alleged that “lecturers will justifiably sell hand-outs openly and bribes for grades will become the order of the day. Cases of sexual harassment for grades will also increase as students who do not stay in class will have to find unwholesome means to excel academically.

“Our lecturers, some of whom of whom are postgraduate students, including those who are sponsors (parents/guardians) to many students would not be able to afford these fees.

“Evidence in the past has shown that nothing progressive can come out of the fee increment. Fee hikes have been monitored over time and have been found to be anti-progressive. They won’t improve any standard of learning or living conditions. A very close example is the increment of accommodation fees at the College of Medicine, Idi-Araba in 2019.

“The hostel fees were increased from 23,000 to 44,500 but there was no commensurate change in the living standard of students staying in those halls of residence. What then is the assurance that at the new fee- 120,000, there would be any improvement?

“Education, especially in a developing country, must not be reduced to a profit-making venture for private profiteers. It is to this end, we call on every Nigerian to join the struggle for the survival of public education, to mobilize and march on the streets with us as we put an end to added suffering, starting from September 6, 2023”.

The students declared that “The protests will be comprehensive and total until fees are reversed”.

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