Some concerned stakeholders in education sector in Delta State on Tuesday vowed to shut down the state for three days in protest against the increment in tuition paid by students in the state’s universities.
Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, had announced over 100% increment in tuition fees payable by students while the three new universities in Ozoro, Agbor and Anwai, also pegged their fees in line with that of DELSU.
Since the announcement, there has been protest by students with the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Zone B (South-South and South-East) threatening to shut down the campuses if management does not revert the fees to at most, N70,000.00.
Adding their voices to the protest against the increment, the concerned education stakeholders who are mostly youths, described the action of the management of the institutions as insensitive to the plight of parents.
According to the youths who stormed the temporary secretariat of the Nigeria Union Journalists (NUJ) in Asaba, the increment was needles, adding that the managements were being exploitative in order to fund their extravagant lifestyle.
Those who stormed the secretariat of the NUJ were Ogaga Ogheneyole, Bela Ween, Tomie Akporoghene, Kelly Umukoro, Kenneth Nwaobi, Collins Chukwuka, Umukoro Maro, Ikem Anyansi, Regha Godfrey and Anthony Arugba.
Addressing newsmen on behalf of the concerned stakeholders, Ogheneyole said the aim of establishing three new universities which was to create access would be defeated if Deltans are unable to afford the exorbitant fees.
“You are asking parents who are mostly peasant farmers and petty traders to pay between N180,000.00 and N260,000.00 as school fees for their children, where will they get that kind of money from?
“Last year, DELSU increased their fees, and there is no need for any further increase, while the new universities should adopt the old fees of DELSU.
“We want the state government to intervene and stop this exploitation by the management of the institutions because what they are doing is to take from the poor to fund their expensive lifestyles.
“In DELSU for instance, every year after SUG election, the management would sponsor the new student leaders to Ghana for leadership training.
“A visiting NANS president came and the management paid N200,000.00 as his transport fare.
“Besides, you will shed tears when you see what management staff get as estacode for travels.
“And these are monies collected from poor students in the name of fees. And some of the breakdowns for the increased fees would shock you.
“How can you ask student to pay N8,000 for lab coat, N7,000 for ID card and all that? You are asking for course accreditation dues as if the courses were not accredited before the students were admitted.
“You are asking for caution fee, department material levy, technology fee, verification of examination is N7,000. I don’t know where they expect students to get the amount from.
“That is why we are using this to tell the state government to wade and stop this glaring exploitation if not, we will not only sustain this advocacy, we are going to shut down the state from Tuesday to Thursday next week,” he said.