”Don’t believe ‘audio promises’ by President Tinubu” – Nigerian students caution ASUU
A civil rights movement representing Nigerian students, the Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike, has expressed scepticism regarding the purported cancellation of the 40 per cent Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) directive for universities by the Bola Tinubu-led administration.
In a statement released by the group’s Secretariat and signed by Oyelumade Oluwakemi, the organization contested the credibility of the alleged cancellation, emphasizing that mere announcements would not suffice until tangible reductions in school fees were witnessed.
The group urged vigilance among students and education labor unions, notably the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), stressing the importance of demanding official correspondence confirming the cancellation and reverting fees to their previous levels.
The statement condemned the commercialization of education in Nigeria, highlighting doubts about the government’s sincerity in addressing fee hikes and educational funding.
It raised concerns about the government’s track record, referencing past promises and subsequent actions that contradicted pledges made regarding education funding.
Questioning the government’s use of saved funds from subsidy removal, the group pointed out the discrepancy between promises of increased education funding and the reality of rising fees across educational institutions.
It criticized what it perceived as lavish government spending while students struggled with exorbitant fees and inadequate facilities.
Citing instances where presidential directives seemed unheeded or ineffectual, the group alleged a lack of substantial action following promises to curb fee increments, which led to student dropouts and financial constraints.
Expressing doubt over the authenticity of the IGR cancellation announcement, the Students Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike warned against the possibility of the move being a facade for introducing more detrimental policies.
The organization urged collective action and demanded concrete steps from educational labour unions to ensure the reversal of fee increments and a genuine commitment to fund universities as previously assured by the government adequately.
“We hereby call on all students and education labour unions, especially ASUU to be vigilant and demand that it is not enough to announce the cancellation, rather an official correspondence must follow and fees must be reverted to status quo ante, so that students are not reduced to customers.
“We demand an end to the commercialisation of education in Nigeria. Cancellation of IGR is not enough until fees fall and our Universities are properly funded as promised,” the group said.