Riots over tuition hike in Nigeria
February 17, 2010
Activities at Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, stopped yesterday when over 2000 students took to the streets, protesting alleged increment in their school fees. The surrounding supermarkets and filling station were set on fire, banks were raided, while the Benin-Auchi-Abuja road was impassable as the protesting students barricaded the road, forcing all vehicular movement to divert through Iruekpen-Sabon-Gida-Ora-Afuze-Auchi road.
The students were protesting the hike in school fees from N26,000 to N76,000 for full-time students, and from N30,000 to N100,000 for part-time students.
The Edo State Commissioner for Education, Ngozi Osareren, denied that there was increase in the school fees of students but confirmed that the governing council of the university met last week where issues on school fees were discussed.
Meanwhile, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC), a non-profit group, on Monday condemned the recent increase in tuition fees at the University.
In a release jointly signed by the group’s national coordinator, and national secretary, Hassan Taiwo and Chinedu Bosah, respectively, the group called the state government and the school management to revert the fees immediately.
“The fees have been provocatively and unwarrantedly increased, and we see no justification for it given the socio-economic difficulties most Nigerians are passing through,” the release reads.
According to the group, the old fees, formerly between N20,000 and N30,000, is now between N54,000 and N100,000, depending on the level and the course of study. The part-time and the fresh students are now expected to pay N100,000; pre-degree students are to pay N90,000; science students are to pay N74,000, while non-science students are to pay N54,000.
The group also argued that it would be inconsiderate to ask citizens earning N7,500 as minimum wage to pay N100,000 for their wards’ university education.
Commenting on the issue, Information and Orientation Commissioner, Abdul Oroh, condemned the action of the students which he said was hijacked by hoodlums, adding that the police would be allowed to do its work and bring those responsible for the destruction of properties to book.