Students of the newly established Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa, on Thursday paralysed the activities at the institution following a protest against alleged increase in school fees.
The students, who barricaded roads leading to the Otuoke Community and the institution, described the increase in the school fees from N55, 000 to N85, 000 as unacceptable.
The protest also led to the closure of some business outlets in the area.
One of the students, Christy Asuen, said the increase in the tuition fees was not commensurate with the facilities available.
“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, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, however, denied the increase.
“The truth is that we have not increased the school fees of the university,’’ he said, explaining that the fees advertised by the university during its admission were still the ones being paid.
He said the fees were charged according to the three sets of students that had so far gained admissions into the school.
Aluko said the pioneer students were already in their first semester year two, while the second set were in their second semester year one.
He said the flood that ravaged the state in 2012 affected the academic calendar of the university.
According to him, the students, who are in their first academic year second semester, have all paid these fees.
Aluko said what they mean by increase in fees was that the pioneer and non-pioneer students pay different fee schedule.
“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 Sciences, 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. (NAN)
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