Students protest alleged hike in fees in Otueke University, Bayelsa

Prof. Mobolaji Aluko

The University is one of the new ones set up by the Jonathan administration

Students of the Federal University, Otueke, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa, Thursday protested a purported increase in school fees.
The protesting students, who barricaded roads leading to the Otuoke Community and the institution, described the increase in the school fees as unacceptable. The fees were allegedly increased from N55,000 to N85,000.

The protest led to closure of some business outlets in the area and heightened security at Otuoke community, President Jonathan’s country home.
A student, Christy Asuen, said the increase in the fees is not commiserate with the facilities available; adding that the students were not allowed to have a students’ union.

“We are studying under very tedious conditions. We don’t have power and water, most of us buy water and contribute money to buy power generating set,” she said.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, Mobolaji Aluko, has however, denied increasing the school fees of the university.

“The truth is that we have not increased the school fees of the university”, he said.

He said the fees were charged according to the three sets of students that had so far gained admission into the school.

Mr. Aluko said the pioneer set of students were already in the first semester of their second year two while the second set were in the second semester of their first year.

He said the flood that ravaged the state in 2012 affected the academic calendar of the university.

“The students who are in their first academic year, second semester, had all paid these fees. No increase in fees. What they mean by increase in fees is that the pioneer students pay a certain fee schedule and the non-pioneer students pay a certain fee schedule.

“But there is already a set of non-pioneer students who have been paying the fees for a year now. So there is no increase in fees. We have the pioneer set of students. We have the second set of students and we have the third set of students.”

“When the pioneers came in, their fees were N45,000 for tuition and accommodation. By the end of their first year before this second set came in, we increased it to N50,000, but separated the accommodation fees from it. It is for pioneer students and they will pay that till they graduate.

“The second set of students, humanities and social science paid N72,000 and science students will pay N80,000. Of the fees, N16,000 of it was for acceptance fees I.D cards fees paid only once.

“After the first year, they will be paying N50,000 for humanities and social sciences and N58,000 for science students,” he explained.

The university is one of the public universities established by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

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