Miracle Akubuo

The National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) has called for calm among Nigerian students as they work towards addressing the recent fee hikes at various universities.

This was stated in a press release by the Association PRO, Giwa Yisa Temitope, yesterday.

He said, “As the umbrella body of the students’ movement, we have taken action to stop this trend. Our intervention, including writing to the presidency demanding a halt in the wave of fee hikes, has received a favorable response.”

Giwa noted that the Association addressed the issues on Wednesday and met with the authorities of Lagos University and other universities that have increased fees, requesting them to suspend the recently announced fee increments.

“We commend the Vice-Chancellor of Lagos University for promising to carefully consider our demand. Similar meetings are being held with the management of other Awolowo universities, University of Ibadan, and others,” Giwa said.

To prevent a nationwide confrontation strike in every university and polytechnic, NANS urges the federal government to comply with their terms and conditions.

The statement in part reads, “On Wednesday, 2nd of August, 2023, we met with the authorities of the University of Lagos, and asked them to suspend the recently announced fee increments.

“And we want to commend the fact that the Vice Chancellor did promise that our demands will be carefully considered. Similar meetings are being held with management of other tertiary institutions including Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Benin, University of Ibadan, etc.

“We want to seize this moment to warn that failure to comply with the directive of the Federal Government on the matter of fee increment will leave us with no choice than to evoke the last C of Aluta: A nationwide confrontation. We will not only take our protests to the streets, we will bring them to your respective University gates. And it will be Aluta infinitum.

“Needless to say, the recent removal of subsidy on fuel has brought untold hardship on our parents. The agonizing pains and struggles our parents have to endure is such that have never been experienced before in the history of this country. More than 150 million Nigerians are living in multidimensional poverty. Small businesses are closing up, Nigerians are finding it difficult to survive. Our parents have borne more than enough hardship. We are not prepared to add fee hikes to our list of unending pains.

“While we are aware that our Universities are poorly funded, thus putting so much strains on our respective institutions, we want to insist that it is the responsibility of government to fund education, and not our poor parents who are already finding it difficult to feed.

“And we are glad that the federal government in its recent statement on the subject matter admits this too. And, if there will be any increment as we argued at the meeting with UNILAG management, it must be within the minimum salary rate of our parents. As a matter of fact, despite our continued opposition to the removal of fuel subsidy, the government had nonetheless hinged subsidy removal on the promise that it would use money saved to invest in education. We intend to hold the government accountable to this pledge.

“By this press conference, we are asking University authorities to reverse all increased fees to status quo, and those still considering increment must immediately throw this idea out of windows”.

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