Protests rock the Federal University Lokoja (FUL) as some parents and students have come out to express their displeasure over the planned three hundred per cent hike in tuition and other charges by the management of the institution.
In this light, they also called for the immediate removal of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi whom they described as having a “penchant for inflicting financial pains” on the hapless parents and students of the institution without recourse to economic realities facing the people.
Some parents who spoke to the Daily Independent under anonymity urged the Management of the institution to reverse the increment in order not to deny the majority of students to higher education.
They decried the over 300% increment imposed by the school’s management, saying that raising the fee from N55,000 to over N187,000 is inhuman and an attempt to deny children from poor homes, higher education.
Giving the breakdown of the planned fees for various categories of students, the parents said, “Remedial course which was N50,000 is now N100,000 while fees for new intake which was N56,000 is now N188,500.
Additionally, “New intake Art/social sciences students, will pay N183,500 as against N55,000 just as the returning students are expected to pay N113,000 as against the former fees of N47,000.”
While lamenting the shylock attitude of the vice chancellor, they disclosed that he has equally increased accommodation fees from N20,000 to N60,000. The GST handbook sold to students at N1,500 per copy is now increased to N6,500.
Reacting to the protest, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr Daniel Iyke said there has not been any official release of any increase in the university charges.
He pointed out that the federal government due to the current economic situation, can not effectively fund the education sector, noting that there has been an increase in charges from one university to another. In emphasis, he said that if the Federal University Lokoja is trying to consider an increase, it should not be totally out of place.
In his words, “However, it will be important for parents, students and the public to give us benefit of the doubt and be patient before the official release of any document to that effect before anybody can complain.”