The National Association of Nigerian Students has faulted the recent decisions of some federal universities to increase registration and tuition fees for students.
The association has therefore set up a committee saddled with the responsibility of negotiating with the authorities of the affected universities on behalf of the students.
The association’s South West Coordinator, Emmanuel Olatunji, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent on Sunday.
“A committee has been set up across all the six zones in which coordinators of the zones are to work with the Secretary-General.
“The committees are to write to all schools in their zones to negotiate with them on behalf of the NANS President,” Olatunji said.
The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, when contacted did not respond to inquiries by our correspondent at the time of filing this report.
Speaking with our correspondent, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Uyo, Prof Ini Uko, said it was time for parents and students to face the Federal Government over the funding of tertiary education.
Also, the Programme Director of Reform Education Nigeria, Ayodamola Oluwatoyin, wondered how parents who receive a minimum wage of N30, 000 are expected to cope with the hike in fees.
Oluwatoyin said, “This is a very difficult matter to judge. However, with the rising inflation, it is going to be hard for parents to start paying huge amounts of money for fees.
“The minimum wage is N30, 000; how do they expect parents to cope with over N250, 000 per session? The government of Nigeria has failed over time to invest fully in the sustenance of tertiary education. It is unfair that with the poor minimum wage, parents still have to struggle to pay. However, you also cannot fault the universities, they need to sustain themselves. The government needs to wake up to its responsibilities.”
Some of the universities that have announced a hike in fees include the Federal University, Dutse which recently announced a 200 per cent hike in fees.
The management of the University of Maiduguri also announced an increment in fees and attributed the decision to rising inflation in the country.
The Federal University, Lafia in Nasarawa State also increased registration fees of students to as high as N150, 000 for some programmes.
University of Uyo also announced an increment with both new and returning students expected to pay over N100, 000 as against the N50, 000 old fees.
The Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, also said it revised the charges payable by students due to the escalating cost of providing services to students.