Students at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) are protesting the school’s increment of tuition fees.
On Tuesday, undergraduates cordoned off the UNIBEN gate to register their displeasure with the varsity’s stance.
Lectures and other academic activities within the campus were also stalled as a deluge of students held up placards.
Videos showing enraged varsity officials confronting students in a bid to end the protest surfaced on social media.
Some protesters in the institution who spoke with TheCable Lifestyle said the school authorities had increased the fees for science students from N45,400 to N65,400 and that of art-related courses from N41,400 to N61,400.
It is understood that the varsity, which resumed on August 16, gave a two-week deadline for payment while fixing a fine of N10,000 as an additional payment to be made if students don’t meet their financial obligations as at when due.
“Normally, by 300 and 400 level, fees reduce to N20,000/N15000. I’m in 300 and still paying 45,000. Apart from that, the VC Lilian Salami gave a deadline of two weeks after which N10,000 will be added,” a student said.
“That was last week. After that, the fee will increase the upper week by another N10,000 if you still don’t pay. After that, you will be made to forfeit your admission. We are protesting that it shouldn’t be that way in public schools.
“In 100 level, I paid my fees when we were about to write exams. Things are even harder now. I have a friend, they are two sisters. Their school fees total N90,000. Now they have to pay N130,000 or forfeit their studentship.”
As of when this report was filed, the university had yet to officially address the protest. Both Benedicta Ehanire, UNIBEN’s public relations person, and Patrick Igbinaduwa, the dean of student affairs, did not respond to calls.
Lilian Salami, the incumbent vice-chancellor of the state-owned university, also didn’t respond when contacted.
It was gathered that the students had attempted to dialogue with the school authorities over the deadline to no avail.
The protest comes two days to the election of UNIBEN’s next student union government (SUG), which would have represented the protesting undergraduates before the university authorities in such situations.
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