By Kelvin Ohoror
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS Zone B), has condemned the 95% increase of school fees by the management of Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, saying that the student’s body is disheartened and heartbroken over the development.
According to a statement signed by Oghale Emejoereda, Deputy Coordinator NANS Zone B, South East and South-South who doubles as the NANS Leader in Delta State, said the move is ill-timed, noting that “students and parents are battling for survival due to the unstable and hard economy of the nation in this post-Covid-19 era.”
The statement reads in part: “At this point, while all and sundry battles for survival, it is unfair, unruly and unholy for the management of an institution to add to the sufferings of the Nigerian students and their parents.
“The leadership of the student body in the state and the zone entirely condemns and rejects in totality the 95% increment of the institutional tuition fee. The Rector with his vast experience and exposure should have understood that the timing is wrong. We are aware that as a Rector, this is his first academic session and with this exuberant hike, it delineates that his administration will not be student-friendly.”
Meanwhile, the body has also alleged: “continuous exploitation and extortion” of Nigerian students by the management of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro.
“Recall that due to the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, after several meetings among various students’ leaders, management of institutions, and other relevant stakeholders, the payment of facility upgrade fee was adopted to enable management of institutions put in place necessary instruments and facilities for students upon resumption, in adherence to the Covid-19 rules.
“It is worthy to note that it was agreed that the payment of the said fee must be once collected that is to say it must be collected in just one academic session which was the 2020/2021 academic session. It is a breach of trust for the management of the institution to impose the said fee on all students and captured it as one of the criteria for doing final clearance,” NANS said.
The leadership of NANS also frowned “at the illegal collection or payment of compulsory five thousand naira fee tagged certificate cover,” adding that “it is unacceptable.”
“This is daylight extortion and robbery to the Nigerian students after paying fifteen thousand seven hundred naira for the collection of a certificate. We have sworn an oath to protect the interests and welfare of Nigerian students.
“On this note, we reject the anti-students fees and levies cum maladministration of both institutions’ management, we have communicated both managements on our stand which is the demand of total reversal of the school fees hike back to status quo and the immediate removal of the aforementioned levies on the Nigerian students with an ultimatum of 72 hours (3 working days) starting from 15th January 2022, as failure to do so we shall be left with no other option than to use the last C of the struggle which is a confrontation to press home our demands.”
NANS also called on students in Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-uku not to pay the new fees and also directed those in Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro not to make payment for any facility upgrade fee and certificate cover fee, urging them to go about their academic activities and await a directive from NANS leadership.