…give mgt five-day ultimatum
The Student Union of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has given the school management five days to reverse the increased tuition fees to the status quo, threatening to shut down the institution.
Addressing a world press conference on Monday at the Ken Saro Wiwa building of the institution, Abbas Akinremi Ojo, the student union president, backed by other executives, said they held a meeting with the school management and demanded an outright return to the old fee regime.
Ojo stated that the student union shall continue to stand united and make a difference together.
According to him, “Our last congress of Great Ife held on September 14 ended with the following resolutions: “That the management should reverse the increment in school fees
“All financial institutions, remita, especially ignore and suspend any payment from OAU pending the time the union will write to them; otherwise, their branches in Ife and OAU campus will be shut down.
“The congress agreed that the university management be given a five-day ultimatum to engage the leadership of the union. Afterward, we hit the street and shut down the activities on campus and the entire country if the ultimatum isn’t met.
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“As a student body, we’ve played our part in these resolutions by holding a Twitter space with over 4000 students in attendance who all consensually agree the fee hike is way out of pocket.
‘We’ve also written to all respective banks to halt the acceptance of fee payments from any student until a better resolution has been achieved. As much as we don’t want to, we are currently running out of options and might have to shut down all activities on campus and progressively on all campuses throughout the country if the school authorities remain adamant
He said that the school authorities’ excuse for school fee hikes was that the Federal Government has stopped funding OAU, the inadequate funding has limited access to quality education, hindered academic resources, and created many financial burdens for students and their families.
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He noted that with rising school fees and limited access to scholarships, families must bear the financial strain of ensuring their children receive a decent education.
“This perpetuates a cycle of inequality, as those from less privileged backgrounds are further marginalised, hindering their chances of upward social mobility. We must address this issue and alleviate the burden on these families,
“It’s bothersome that students of a federal university like OAU pay a fee over a hundred thousand naira and that fresh students pay almost double in a school where many students have single parents who are government workers earning a minimum wage of thirty thousand naira.”
While saying that all hope is not lost as there are viable solutions to tackle this problem, he called on the Federal Government to address the situation.
He said the government should realise that education should be treated as a fundamental right rather than a privilege it entails.
“I urge the Federal Government to prioritise education and recognise the urgent need to alleviate these funding anomalies. As stewards of our nation’s progress, they must invest in future generations and create an environment where every student, regardless of their background, has an equal opportunity to excel.
“It is only through collective action that we can bring about positive change and build a brighter future for Nigeria” Ojo stated.
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