Saturday, January 4, 2020 10:17 pm
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has advised students of Ebonyi Students University (EBSU), Abakaliki to disregard the hike in tuition fees announced recently by the management of the institution.
Mr Alfred Nwuruku, the Director, NANS Zone B (South East/South South zones), gave the advice on Saturday, while speaking on the fee hike in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki.
Nwuruku contended that the increase was against the interest of the students.
He said that the 10 per cent increase in the tuition fees for old students and 20 per cent for new students, made in December 2019, had caused tension in the university.
He said that students, who were agitated by the development, had already started calling for a peaceful demonstration.
“This is to get the attention of the state government because the increase is unacceptable and a calculated attempt to frustrate the students.
“It will adversely affect students who come from poor background and the timing of the increase is inappropriate,” Nwuruku said.
He expressed dissatisfaction that such a “consequential decision” was taken by the school’s management without consulting the students’ body and other stakeholders.
“We urge the students to therefore disregard the fee hike and maintain the status quo, while the issue is being deliberated upon by relevant stakeholders.
“We were elected to speak for the helpless and voiceless Nigerian students and ensure that no student is subjected to undue pressure or intimidation,” he said.
The student body leader said that students were supposed to be consulted and that management ought to consider the pros and cons of the hike before reaching a final decision.
“The story is, however, different in EBSU and the news was shocking to the students.
“We are appealing to the students to be calm with the hope of the state government’s intervention.
“We will explore all avenues of consultation with the school management and government before resorting to actions to protect the students’ interest,” Nwuruku said.
Mr Patrick Itumo, the Public Relations Officer of EBSU, described the increase as “marginal” and a common practice in higher institutions.
“EBSU as a state-owned institution receive limited subvention from its owner – the state government – and tuition fee is our highest source of revenue.
“We duly consulted with the students leadership over the decision and we would not do anything that would be to the detriment of our students,” Itumo said. (NAN)