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OAU students threaten mass protest, closure of campus over fee hike

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Blessing Akorowosi, Osogbo

The Students Union of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State has vowed to embark on massive protest and shut down the institution if the new tuition fees are not reversed.

The Students union issued a 5-day ultimatum to the school management to reverse the fees to the former amount else they will carry out their threats.

Speaking during a press conference at Ken Saro Wiwa Building of the institution on Monday, the union president, Comrade Abbas Akinremi Ojo stated that the union executives have held a meeting with the school management and demanded outright reversal.

He highlighted the resolutions made by the last Congress of Great Ife held on September 14, 2023 with over 4000 on Twitter.

“That the management should make it a duty to 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 5-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.

“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

“While the school authority’s go-to excuse for School fee hike is that the federal government has stopped funding OAU, the recent release dated 15th of September listed OAU as number 9 of
the top 10 funded universities with a budget allocation of N13.48.

“We are here to address the pressing issue of sudden fee hikes and the alarming state of education funding in Nigeria. Education is the cornerstone of development and progress for any nation. So, it’s sad that in a country as great as ours, education is becoming a choice only the rich can make.”

The Student Union president said the current situation in Nigeria paints a grim picture, with chronically low funding for education having severe repercussions on our society.

According to him inadequate funding has limited access to quality education, hinder academic resources, and already created many financial burdens for students and their 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 that are government workers earning a minimum wage of thirty thousand naira,” he said.

Comrade Ojo called on the federal government to take decisive action to address the situation and make education more affordable.

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