Fee Hike: NANS issues 48-hour deadline, plans to storm UNILAG 

The National Association of Nigerian Students has issued a 48-hour ultimatum for the management of the University of Lagos to reverse fee hike in the institution.

The National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope, the National Vice President for External Affairs, Akinteye Afeez, the Deputy Senate President, Ekundina Elvis, and other NANS executive members denounced the arrest of students who were protesting a fee increase at UNILAG Junction on Wednesday.

The police later released several of the demonstrators, including Adeyeye Olorunfemi, Philip Olatinwo, Aduwo Ayodele, and the Giwa. During the protest, the security forces used tear gas to scatter the students near UNILAG Junction.

The Lagos State Police Command had said on Tuesday that the students should alert the police of their planned protests so that appropriate measures could be taken, but the students resisted this, arguing that the right to demonstrate is an essential human right.

The student leaders said in a statement to the media during a news conference at the International news Centre in Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, “We want to state that the repression that was meted out during our protest on Wednesday against the astronomical increase in fees payable at the University of Lagos is condemnable.”

NANS claims that the decision to protest the fee increase was made after a meeting between students and University of Lagos administration on August 2, 2023, “where the Vice Chancellor assured us that the fee would be reversed and reviewed through a joint body of students and management staff of the university.”

Adejoke Alaga-Ibraheem, Head of UNILAG’s Communications Unit, responded when reached for comment on Wednesday that management did not oppose legal protest. She advised the pupils to direct their complaints in the appropriate direction.

“The university is not against lawful and peaceful protests by our students. Our students, who are currently on vacation, are enjoined to channel all grievances through the Dean, Student Affairs, who is officially empowered to interact with students,” Alaga-Ibraheem said in a chat with our correspondent.

However, the NANS leaders vowed that the student body will once more storm UNILAG. “The management of the University of Lagos is hereby given 48 hours ultimatum to immediately reverse the fees as agreed upon and refund students that must have paid the astronomical fees.”

“Consequently, all students’ union presidents, NANS leadership, and the Nigerian students are hereby put on notice to begin mobilisations. We shall be hitting the UNILAG gates again. The country is bleeding economically and education cannot be traded for illiteracy. It is our fundamental human right to be educated. The police authority must henceforth stop the repression of students and people’s protests. We warn all higher education and Unity Schools never to add a kobo to the fees,” they added.

The UNILAG management in July 2023 increased fees from N19,000 to N190,250 for students studying medicine while for courses that require laboratory and studio, the students were to pay N140,250. The management cited “prevailing economic realities” as reasons

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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