By Edafe Steve
Any stakeholders comprising past and serving students’ leaders in Delta State, have threatened mayhem in the state over increment of varsity fees, adding that they would shut down economic activities in the state if no action is taken to review the high cost of school fees for newly admitted students into the state-owned universities.
The student’s leaders made this remark during a visit to the NUJ Press Centre Asaba, on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, where they faulted the unpleasant move by the state actors in fees increment, noting that the planned shut down would hold from March 1 to March 3, 2022.
The activists who spoke under the auspices of the Concerned Stakeholders on Education, decried the huge insensitivity of the state government, to increase fees in spite the harsh economic realities in the country, coupled with inflated items padded into the fees.
“The increment in fees is not justified. 7,000 for ID card, 8,000 for Lab coat. Payment for course accreditation, caution fee, development fee, technology fee, payment for verification of results amongst other inflated fees are unjustifiable. DELSU increased their fees just last year and has increased it this year by nearly 100 percent.”
According to the spokesman of the group, Comrade Ogagaoghene Ogheneyole, the shut down which would take place for 3 days, will witness the gathering of the stakeholders as well as students who have vowed to forsake the comfort of their homes and set up camp at government house, Asaba with sleeping materials, cooking wares and others as they demand for the reversal of the hike.
The activists who faulted the support of State Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr Patrick Mubohare on the increment of fees said: “We are picking on government because we were told that the government of Okowa had set a benchmark of amount of money it would be supporting universities with and that is why they resorted to increment of school fees. We are saying that this money is our own, let the government fund Education to disallow this incessant and unnecessary increases of school fees. The parents and students should not always be made to suffer for Government’s inability to fund Education. Where do they want parents and guardians to raise such amount of money from? Go and steal? Capital NO! We will not allow that”.
The stakeholders said, the increment which lies between N180,000 and N270,000, are clog in achieving fair access to education for the teeming youths and struggling households who will also raise same amount for acomodation, feeding and others.
The aggrieved stakeholders maintained that their call for the reduction, is in-line with request of NADESSTU and NANS in order to secure an affordable education system for future generations.
The stakeholders, while calling on the management of DELSU to revert to the old fees,advised the newly created Universities in the State to adopt that same Tuition Fees, noting that, DELSU should reactivate its consult services to enable the school generate revenue and further cut down expenses deployed for luxury lifestyles for top management staff and Student Union leaders.
They appealed to the state leadership of the state NUJ and all media organisations in the state to lend their support to their demand for the scraping of the exorbitant fees.
However, NUJ State Chairman, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, assured the Concerned Stakeholders that the Union will not shy away from giving due publicity to the group’s activities and advised them to conduct their advocacy peacefully.