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Sunday, February 25, 2024

NANS, activists decry soaring university tuition fees, urge government intervention

Protests erupt as federal and state universities increase fees to counter fuel subsidy removal, prompting calls for urgent government action.

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and rights activists have raised their voices against the recent surge in tuition fees across federal and state universities in Nigeria. The call comes in response to the universities’ decisions to raise fees as a measure to offset the removal of fuel subsidies by the Federal Government, leading to a surge in the overall cost of living.

Several prominent institutions, including the University of Lagos, Obafemi Awolowo University, Tai Solarin University of Education, the University of Jos, and Lagos State University, have implemented tuition hikes. The move has sparked protests among stakeholders who express their discontent with the announced fee increases.

Okafor Ernest, the Director of the National Association of Nigerian Students, representing the union, emphasized that no institution possesses unilateral authority to raise tuition fees. NANS President, Lucky Omonefe, stressed that in the current unstable economic climate, parents are already grappling with the financial burden of ensuring their children’s education. Ernest noted, “Increasing the school fees is also inflicting hardship on the parents, knowing that the country is not stable. We know things are not normal, and we have said that there should be no increment for now.”

Former coordinator of the National Association of Nigerian Students South-West Zone, Samuel Kappo, expressed concern over the fee hike, deeming it unpleasant given the prevailing hardships faced by families. He emphasized the importance of the government recognizing the necessity of rolling back these increases to prevent a potential surge in student dropouts, underscoring that education forms the foundation of any nation.

Students’ activist Femi Adeyeye demanded the immediate reversal of fee hikes in all tertiary institutions, stressing that government intervention to fund education is imperative. Adeyeye highlighted the direct correlation between Nigeria’s economic system and the state of its educational system, calling for urgent measures to address the escalating challenges faced by students and their families.

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