Reverse fees hike or we’ll shut down institution- OAU students vow
By Richard Akintade, Osogbo
The Student Union of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, on Monday, vowed to embark on a protest that would paralyze all campus activities if the University authority fails to reverse the recently announced hike in fees and revert to the old regime of school fees payment.
The Union warned the University authority, to as a matter of urgency reverse the recent increments in the tuition fees or be ready to face massive student protests across the state.
Consequently, the student body said it had given the school Management a five-day ultimatum to reverse the status quo, threatening to shut down the institution, if the authorities did otherwise.
In a World Press Conference addressed by the Union President, Comrade Abbas Akinremi, with other Executives held at the Ken Saro Wiwa Building of the institution, hinted that they have held a meeting with the school Management and demanded an outright reversal of the old regime of school fees.
According to him, the significance of student unions worldwide is that it is a robust platform that brings all students together helps advocate for the rights of students, and creates positive change within student communities.
Speaking at the conference, the student leader said, “Our last congress of Great Ife held on the 14th of September ended with the following resolutions:
“That the Management should make it a duty to reverse the increment in school fees
“All financial institutions, remit, 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.
The Student Union president said the current situation in Nigeria paints a grim picture, with chronically low funding for education having severe repercussions on the larger society.
According to him, inadequate funding has limited access to quality education, hinders academic resources, and already created many financial burdens for students and their families.
“As education plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our youth, the lack of resources and investment in this sector profoundly impacts their overall development. From dilapidated school infrastructures to insufficient teaching materials and outdated curriculums, students are deprived of a quality education that could empower them to reach their full potential.”
Comrade Ojo disclosed 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 marginalized, hindering their chances of upward social mobility. We must address this issue and alleviate the burden on these families.”
While saying all hope is not lost as there are viable solutions to tackle this problem, he called on the Federal Government to take decisive action to address the situation.
He said Government should realise the importance of education and as such it should be treated as a fundamental right rather than a privilege.
Comrade Ojo suggested an adequate increase in the budget allocation for education and to ensure that schools are well-equipped, staffed, and capable of providing quality education.
“Implementing policies that address the barriers to education, such as ensuring accessibility to Schools for Students by guiding against arbitrary increment. and enhancing investment in lecturer training and professional development programs to improve the quality of instruction.
“Establishing scholarship and financial aid programs to alleviate the burden on students and families.”
He however hinted that all these measures must be taken adding that it’s the responsibility of the citizens to hold the government accountable.