Niger Delta University students cry out over fees increment
The students of Niger Delta University (NDU) have expressed fears and displeasure over the increment in their school fees and other levies.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), some of the students described the increment by the Bayelsa state owned institution as outrageous, insensitive and anti-masses.
Many have reportedly predicted that many indigent students would drop out of school as their parents and guardians would be unable to afford it.
NAN reports that the state government and the university’s management increased the school fees by over 200 per cent for both arts and science students.
The second-year students of the faculty of nursing who reportedly paid the sum of N37,000 as school fees as at last year would now pay N100,000.
According to the reports, the increment in the school fees comes as a follow up to a new policy of the state government which had directed the university to fend for itself as it would no longer be dependent on subventions from the government.
However, the students have expressed fears that the increment could have serious security implications for the state and the Niger Delta region which is already drowning in issues of militancy and other social vices.
They also complained that most of the parents who are civil servants in the state did not receive salary regularly. And they also wondered where the government expected their parents and guardians to get the resources when it has been unable to meet its obligations to the workers in the state.
President of National Union of Bayelsa State Students (NUBSS), Agbogidi Emomotimi appealed to the government and the university management to review the fee increment to avoid mass dropouts.
He said that many students owed school fees for the previous academic sessions which is the major reason why the semester examination results are yet to be released.
“One thing we must understand is that the Ijaw man is one generation backward educationally. That’s why the Niger Delta University was established so that the Ijaw man can go to university even without money.
“We are shocked that the restoration government of Governor Seriake Dickson that declared a state of emergency on education can increase school fees to this extent.
“Even last year when school fees was N29,000, over 50 per cent of NDU students could not pay their school fees up to this academic session.
“That’s why results have not been released. There will be a lot of school drop-outs if these high fees are not changed,” he said.