Students of the University of Benin [UNIBEN] have kicked against the new hike in tuition fees after the management of the institution insensitively hiked fees twice in one session in the face of economic hardship in Nigeria made possible by the appalling incompetence of the Buhari dictatorship.
A source at the institution who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity said that hiking tuition fees has become a habitual affair at the institution.
The source informed us that students previously paid N14,000 as tuition. However, this changed in the 2017/2018 academic session when authorities catapulted the fees to an outrageous N41,400!
We also gathered that the hike did not stop there. Immediately after resuming for the ongoing academic session, the University Management headed by the Vice-Chancellor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami again announced another hike from N41,400 to N45,000. And as if that was not enough, less than a month later, the fees were again hiked with an increment of N20,000, bringing the total fees payable to N65,000 for both students in the Art and Sciences.
Meanwhile, newly admitted students are asked to pay N90,000, an outrageous amount considering the fact that the University of Benin is a federal institution.
These insensitive hikes are consistent despite the fact that students have several other fees the institution imposes on them. Some of these compulsory fees include:
Whilst the management of the institution claims it does not officially sell handouts, its lecturers coerce students to pay for same.
UNIBEN Management insists that failure of the students to pay the new fee regime will result in them losing access to the institution, their portal or even their studentship.
Infuriated students have since shut down academic activities at the university, occupying UNIBEN’s gate as early as 07:00 AM on Tuesday morning, September 14.
Several placards seen by eyes witness at the university gate, venue of the protest, read:
“UNIBEN VC Salami is after my sanity as a student”
“I dey find hook up like this. Na UNIBEN send me ooo. . . #No20k #NoLatePayment”
“EDUCATION IS MY RIGHT, NOT MY PRIVILEGE”
“Madam VC wants to milk us dry”
“Salami wants us to do cash out”
“E come be like sey na private university I come.”
Benedicta Ehanire, Public Relations Officer of the University of Benin, whilst reacting to the complaint of the students, made the misleading assertion that education is not a right but a privilege. He further asked students to go into prostitution or Yahoo Yahoo [a term used for internet fraud in Nigeria] in order to meet up with their academic bills.
The students have vowed to bring academic activities at the institution to a standstill until the Management of the institution purges itself of its habitual habit of fee hiking by reverting to the status quo as well as cancelling the fee for late payment.
See photos of the peaceful protest below: