Students at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Monday, voiced their demand for the Federal Government to reverse the recent tuition fee increase.
The President and General Secretary of the institution’s Students’ Union, Abbas Ojo and Akinboni Sunday, released a joint statement expressing their strong opposition to the management’s decision.
“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.” the statement partly read.
Last Wednesday, the university administration disclosed alterations to the fees students will need to pay for the upcoming academic session.
The union had previously urged the school administration to prioritize the reversal of the tuition fee increase and “all financial institutions, remita, especially ignore and suspend any payment from OAU pending the time the union will write to them; otherwise, their branches in Ife and OAU campus will be shut down.”
“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,” the union added.
It appealed to the federal government to take decisive steps by offering effective solutions to address the fee increase. This includes increasing the budget allocation for education and ensuring that schools are adequately equipped, staffed, and capable of delivering high-quality education.
“Implement policies that address the barriers to education, such as ensuring accessibility to schools for students by guiding against arbitrary increment. Enhance investment in lecturer training and professional development programs to improve the quality of instruction. Establish scholarship and financial aid programs to alleviate the burden on students and families,” the union added.