March 3, 2024

NANS Protests Increment Of School Fee With Over 360%

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…accuses govt. of planning to shut out students of the poor from acquiring education

By Simeon OSAJIE

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on today, June 23 protested over 360 per cent increment of School Fees at the Edo State owned Ambrose Alli University, (AAU) Ekpoma.

The students’ national body, while at the premises of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council demanded the reversal of the over 360% School Fees increment, the sack of the Special Intervention Team (SIT), which tenure is said to expire on the 24th of June, 2023, and also demanded the sack of the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sonnie Adagbonyin.

Speaking, NANS, Vice President, Intercampus Affairs, Comrade Vanessa Egheahie, said the Edo State Government should revert to the old fees paid by the students before the new increment or NANS would move its headquarters to AAU to enforce the reversal as students from poor parents cannot afford to go to school with the new charges.

She said the new charges makes AAU the most expensive public university in Nigeria, as law students are expected to cough out 741,5000 as against 185,000, while Medical Science Students are to pay 638,000.

“We are angry because the Edo State Government and the AAU Special Intervention Team (SIT) have increased the school fees for AAU students with over three hundred and sixty percent, those who have right to increase fee are those who have worked to improve the infrastructure in the school. It is quite unfortunate that the state government has increased school fee making it impossible for poor people to go to school. What the management of the school is telling us is that, before a salary earner in Edo State with just a child who wants his child to study law would have to work for 23 months before he can pay one level school fee for his child.

“It is not possible; remember that Edo is 78 percent Civil Service State. How can children of traders, civil servants and other low income earners pay this kind of school fees? Edo State Government has told us that they have low education policy and they don’t care if we end up on the street.

She also maintained that the SIT, whose tenure is to end on the 24th of June, 2023 has failed in its responsibility of managing and helping the institution to source for fund, and should be sacked by the Edo State Government.

“The Special Intervention Team (SIT) has failed in its responsibility and we also have the Acting Vice Chancellor that is threatening students that if they cannot pay, they should look for universities that are cheap. We keep bragging that we are EdoBEST, this is Edo Nonsense. I want to beg our parents not to pay any charges or dues come Monday. We demand the sack of the SIT and the Acting Vice Chancellor.” She said.

Also, speaking, the Secretary General, NANS Zone B, Comrade Isaac Ogieva, said when the fee was increased, they went to the school management and pleaded that they should consider the poor ones in school, who are the ones sponsoring their education.

“When this fee was increased, we went to them and pleaded that they should consider the poor ones, as many students are the ones sponsoring their education and cannot afford these exorbitant fees. When, after school, you will not even get a job? Where do you expect a poor parent to bring N700,000 or N600,000 as the case maybe to pay school fees.” he said.

As at the time of filing in this report, all efforts made by The9JaTREND reporter to get government reaction from the State Commissioner of Orientation and Community, Mr. Chris Nehikhare proved abortive, as he said he was very busy without other official engagement.

When The9JaTREND put a call across to Special Adviser to Edo State governor, Pastor Crusoe Osaige, he said: “Call the Acting Vice Chancellor or Chairman, Special Intervention Team (SIT), Prof. Sonnie Adagbonyin or Comrade Austin Osakue.”

When The9aTREND put a cross to Chairman, Special Intervention Team (SIT), Comrade Austin Osakue to get his reaction by NANS proved abortive as he refused to pick his phone.

Also as at the time of filing report, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sonnie Adagbonyi’s phone line was switched off.

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