The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja, Professor Olayemi Akunwumi, has come under fire following an increase in the fees payable by the new intakes.
New intakes for the 2022/2023 academic session into the faculty of sciences have been asked to pay N270,000 as against N100,000 by the old students.
A breakdown of the current hike in the students’ fees as published on the website indicated that the remedial course which had N50,000 as school fees was now N100,000 while fees for new students which was formerly N56,000 had increased to N188,500.
The information added that the fees for new intake art/social sciences hitherto fixed for N55,000 had been increased to N183,500 just as returning students are expected to pay N113,000 against the former fees of N47,000.
Similarly, student accommodation per bed space which was charged for N20,000 before has increased to N60,000 while the GST handbook sold to students at N1,500 per copy now goes for N6,500.
Protesters under the aegis of Parents of Students of Federal University Lokoja stormed the NUJ Secretariat, Lokoja on Tuesday calling for the immediate removal of the Vice Chancellor of the university for what they described as “arbitrary hike in the student’s school fees without recourse for the current economic situation in the country”.
The placards with various inscriptions parents said that the protest would continue until the management of the university reverse itself over the increment.
The leader of the group, Moses Abraham, who made the call said the increment in school fees which was almost 300 percent was meant to deny parents and Nigerian masses from acquiring university education for their children.
He said that the increment was too much for parents to bear and called on the federal government through the minister of education to prevail on the Vice Chancellor to reverse the hike in the fees.
“The Vice-Chancellor is a civil servant and we expected that he should be aware of the current economic doldrum the people of this country are passing through in recent times. How can people pay their children’s school fees with the current increment when sources of income remain stagnated?” he lamented.
Another parent who expressed her feelings over the hike, Florence Anachebi, said “When the federal government established the university few years ago, we were happy but the current Vice Chancellor wants to deny us the opportunity to train our children because since he came he has virtually increased all charges and now the school fees.”
Reacting to the protest, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Daniel Iyke, said there had not been any official release of any increase in the university charges.
He pointed out that the federal government due to the current economic situation cannot effectively fund the education sector, noting that there had been an increase in charges from one university to another.
Iyke stressed that if the university was trying to consider an increase, but should not be totally out of place.
“However, it will be important for parents, students and the public to give us benefit of the doubt and be patient before the official release of any document to that effect before any body can complain,” he said