A coalition of students’ organisations under the Save TASUED and Fund Education Coalition (STAFEC) has fixed February 6 to stage a mass protest in Abeokuta, Ogun State, against what they described as the continued neglect of education, and particularly tertiary education subsector in the state.
The organisations comprise Tai Solarin Students’ Union, National Universities Education Students’ Association (NUESA), Alliance of Nigerian Students against Neoliberal Attacks (ANSA), among others.
In a statement issued at the weekend jointly signed by Sanni Ramon, Ewetola AbdulRamon, Sanyaolu Juwon, and Tomi Aina on behalf of Tai Solarin Students’ Union, NUESA, ANSA and Students’ and Youth Activists Support Initiative respectively; the students condemned the fee hike at the Tai Solarin University of Education, and other higher institutions across the state.
The statement reads in part; “The Save TASUED and Fund Education Coalition (STAFEC) wishes to seize this medium to inform the mass of the Nigerian populace its resolve to stage a mass action against the anti-student/anti-poor policies of the Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led Government of Ogun State on the 6th of February 2017.
“The mass action is aimed at showing our displeasure towards the premeditated neglect of public education especially TASUED. We take exception to the illegal and arbitrary tax of N10, 000 imposed on students and we reject in totality, the increment in acceptance fee from N30,000 to N40,000.
“The coalition maintains an outright rejection of the introduction of N25,000 registration fee; we consider it as fraudulent, thoughtless and unacceptable especially at the time the same students and their unpaid parents barely manage to pay the exorbitant N76, 500 school fees, astronomical acceptance fee and many other ridiculous charges.”
The students’ decision to protest came few weeks after a feisty exchange between Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology who were protesting the closure of their school for eight months.
The university has since resume although the striking lecturers have refused to resume work until their demands are met.
In their statement, the student leaders of both Tai Solarin University and Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago-Iwoye, said they had not received subvention from the state government for more than 20 months, adding that salaries of workers are not paid in full, leading to poor commitment of staff to work.
“The astronomical school fees of TASUED, the increase in the charges of vocational studies (subsequently and fraudulently disguised as registration fee) from N1000 to N25, 000, the imposition of N20,000 as penalty for late submission of clearance file and the despotic increment of acceptance fee from N30, 000 to N40, 000; are few of the many anti-poor/student policies incited by government unacceptable neglect of the institution,” the statement added.