The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Friday organized a peaceful demonstration, calling for the reversal of over 300% increase in tuition fees at Ambrose Alli University (AAU) in Ekpoma, which is owned by the Edo State government.
Recall that the state government increased AAU fees to between 741,000 and N638,00 as against 185,000 and N216,000 being paid previously.
The protesting students also called for the removal of both the Special Intervention Team (SIT) established by the state government to manage the university’s affairs, and Prof Sonnie Adagbonyin, the acting vice chancellor of the university.
NANS vice president, Intercampus Affairs, Comrade Vanessa Egheahie, while addressing journalists, said NANS would storm the institution if the state government failed to revert to the old fees, saying students from poor parents cannot afford to go to school with the new fees.
According to him, with the new fees, AAU has become the most expensive public university in Nigeria.
“Law students are expected to pay 741,000 as against 185,000 while medical science students are to pay 638,000 as against 216,000 for new students.
“We are angry because the Edo State Government and the AAU Special Intervention Team (SIT) have increased the school fees for AAU students by over 360 per cent,” he said.
He said the state government was making it impossible for poor people to go to school.
“It is not possible. Remember that Edo is 78 per cent civil service state. How can children of traders, civil servants and other low income earners pay this kind of school fees? The Edo State Government has told us that they have a low education policy and they don’t care if we end up on the street,” he said.
According to Comrade Isaac Ogieva, the Secretary-General of NANS Zone B, the student body approached the school administration after the fee hike, appealing for the consideration of financially disadvantaged students who rely on self-sponsorship to fund their education.