Students From Unimaid protest hike in school fees
The students of the University of Maiduguri, Borno State on Thursday have taken to the street to protest the increase in the school fees by the management.
Speaking to journalists at the protest scene, the National Vice President, Special Duties of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Suleiman Muhammad Sarki said the ‘mother of all protests’ will follow if the management does not return to the previous charges.
He added that the fee hike would chase a massive population of Nigerian students into insurgency, banditry and kidnapping, as they will drop out of school because of their inability to pay.
“I, for example, last year, paid N29,830 but this year, it has skyrocketed to about N74,000,” the NANS leader said, stressing, “I don’t have the money to pay this, I may have to quit my studies.”
Sarki maintained, “The recent hike in school charges by some Nigerian universities does not only come to us as a surprise but as an affront to the war against insurgency, banditry and kidnapping.”
He explained, “Students who are unable to pay the new fees might end up becoming dropouts and this will add to the rising number of youth restiveness in Nigeria, which may also in return increase the number of insurgents, bandits and kidnappers.”
While expressing the hope of the Nigerian students that the fees hike “will not see the light of the day,” he said the students plead to the government, elder statesmen, relevant stakeholders in the educational sector, traditional rulers, Ulama and priests to intervene and prevail on the governing councils to rescind their decision on the fees hike.
“We expect that within the next two weeks, they will intervene on the fee increase to be withdrawn,” the NANS leader said.
“We will lead students across the country on this mother of all protests after the two-week ultimatum, and we will not stop until the decision is rescinded,” he threatened.
“Our own increase is the least,” Professor Maina Gimba, the Dean of Students Affairs, University of Maiduguri, told PUNCH, explaining, “the increase is based on departmental activities, because departments, Arts and Humanities, Sciences or any other, with more academic activities, have higher increases.”
Gimba said the current least registration fee now at the university is N58,000 while the highest, which is that of the Medical College, is N238,000.
Attributing the fees hike to inflation, he expressed the fear that they might be hiked after the next two years if inflation is not checked.