May 20, 2014
The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has Condemned without any reservation, the 500% school fee increment by the management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile/Ife, Osun State.
The Association, in a statement issued in Abuja described the policy as a declaration of war against the pauperized Nigerians.
The statement was signed by NANS National President, Comrade ‘Yinka Gbadebo. Gbadebo argued that the management has no justification for increasing school fee by 500%.
The management of OAU, had in a forth night ago, released a-new order of school fee indicating that newly admitted students for 2013/2014 academic session will be paying up to N82, 000, as against the present fee of about N17, 500.
NANS, in the statement, said it will scientifically and diplomatically mobilize nigerian students against this unsavoury and unpalatable increment, if status quo is not maintained.
“The Leadership of NANS wishes to unequivocally state that we reject without any reservation, the recent order of school fees released by the management of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile/Ife. We are avowing that the policy is not going to stand, and so shall it be. We wonder why those that undergone the free education policy of late Obafemi Awolwo would chose to make education inaccessible to the commoners. What we are demanding for is qualitative and affordable tertiary education and not for authorities to take education beyond the reach of the poor masses of Nigeria..”~Gbadebo emphasized.
“May we also state clearly that We won’t allow the policy to hold. Never! We shall scientifically and diplomatically mobilize all our artilleries against this increment, if they don’t maintain status quo. We call for dialogue with the management and FG. The decision of the authorities of OAU is not acceptable. This policy is anti-thetical to the educational idea of the late Awolowo. 500% increment is not acceptable. N17, 500 to N82, 000 is anti-poor”~NANS averred.
Gbadebo also alleged that the outrageous manner of fee increment in federal government owned Institutions was borne out of the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU last year. Gbadebo argued that fee increment was part of the agreements signed between ASUU and FG last year, in order for ASUU to have their egocentric earned allowances which they have gotten from government.
“When we were sensitizing Nigerian Students last year that ASUU Strike would bounced back on Students, my constituents accused me of being paid by the federal government to rubbish ASUU. Let me state without any fear or favour or ill-wound that fee increment was part of the agreements entered into last year between ASUU and Federal Government. We stand corrected! ASUU has received their allowances from FG while government is looking for an avenue to recoup their money. I put it to ASUU that they should rise up against the management of OAU by rejecting the obnoxious fee increment if my affirmation is incoherent with the truth.”~ the NANS President argued.
Gbadebo however appealed to the students of OAU not to resort to violence. He promised to ensure that the fee increment is reversed through constructive engagement with OAU management and the Federal Government who is the owner of the institution. “Brigandage and violence Would not reverse the decision, it is when dialogue fail that we can be thinking of confrontation. I urge my colleagues in OAU not to resort to violence” ~Gbadebo advised.