Chanting songs and expressing their displeasure, the students of the University of Port Harcourt on Monday described the fees increase as an “unnecessary and insensitive hike”. “We will not allow this,” they sang, as they protest.
They took their cries to the streets causing heavy vehicular traffic, with policemen trying to control the crowd, but the students are determined to make their voices heard.
The new fees of 41,400 Naira (about 256 dollars) instead of the 29,500 Naira paid last year, they claim is uncalled for, insisting that as a Federal University, the school fees should be affordable by all.
The students say the intervention fund provided to federal institutions by the Federal Government, when the Academic Staff Union of Universities embarked on a strike, had made the hike unacceptable.
The six month strike embarked on by the union was called off on December 17, 2013 after an agreement was reached that the Federal Government would disburse 20 billion Naira every quarter to the university authorities.
The students insisted that the money provided by the government was enough to run the institutions with adequate facilities provided.
After several attempts by Channels Television to reach the school authorities, the spokesperson of the school, Williams Wodi, said he would not make any comment on behalf of the institution at the moment.
The protesters have vowed to continue to press their demands until they see a change. (Channels)
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