OAU Students Threaten To Shut Down Campus Over Fee Hike
The Students’ Union Government of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Southwest Nigeria, has threatened to shut down all activities on the school premises over the increment of tuition fees by the school management.
This was stated by the union president, Comrade Abbas Akinremi Ojo, during a press conference held on Monday at the Ken Saro-Wiwa Students’ Union Building, OAU.
He said the union had approached all commercial banks to stop accepting the payment of acceptance fees for new students.
SaharaReporters earlier reported how the university management announced an increment in its tuition fees last Wednesday.
The new fees were disclosed in a statement released by the school authorities in a post made on X, formerly Twitter, amid rising inflation and hikes in petrol prices following the removal of fuel subsidy in the country.
The new fees range from N89,000 to N190,000 depending on the courses and the academic level of the students.
Returning students previously paid between N19,000 and N31,000 while fresh students paid between N70,000 and N100,000 depending on their course of study.
SaharaReporters had also reported that the students’ union leaders had rejected the increment.
Ojo’s speech on Monday reads: “As a student body, we’ve played our part in these resolutions by holding a Twitter space with over 4000 students in attendance who all consensually agree the fee hike is way out of pocket.
“We’ve also written to all respective banks to halt the acceptance of fee payments from any student until a better resolution has been achieved.
“As much as we don’t want to, we are currently running out of options and might have to shut down all activities on campus and progressively on all campuses throughout the country if the school authorities remain silent on the issue.
“While the school authority’s go-to excuse for school fee hike is that the federal government has stopped funding OAU, the recent release dated 15th of September listed OAU as number 9 of the top 10 funded universities with a budget allocation of N13.4B.
“Today, we are here to address the pressing issue of sudden fee hikes and the alarming state of education funding in Nigeria. Education is the cornerstone of development and progress for any nation. So, it’s sad that in a country as great as ours, education is becoming a choice only the rich can make.
“The current situation in Nigeria paints a grim picture, with chronically low funding for education having severe repercussions on our society.
“Inadequate funding has limited access to quality education, hinder academic resources, and already created many financial burdens for students and their families.
“As education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our youth, the lack of resources and investment in this sector profoundly impacts their overall development.
“From dilapidated school infrastructures to insufficient teaching materials and outdated curriculums, students are deprived of a quality education that could empower them to reach their full potential.
“With rising school fees and limited access to scholarships, families must bear the financial strain of ensuring their children receive a decent education.
“This perpetuates a cycle of inequality, as those from less privileged backgrounds are further marginalized, hindering their chances of upward social mobility. We must address this issue and alleviate the burden on these families.”
He said it was “bothersome that students of a federal university like OAU pay a fee over N100,000 and that fresh students pay almost double —in a school where many students have single parents that are government workers earning a minimum wage of thirty thousand naira”.
“However, all hope is not lost. There are viable solutions to tackle this problem, and I call upon the federal government to take decisive action. Firstly, it is crucial to realize that education should be treated as a fundamental right rather than a privilege,” he added.