ASUU, parents protest varsities hike in fees

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, parents, and students are protesting as more universities continue to hike their fees amid a worsening economy.

ASUU as well as the associations of parents and students warned about the likelihood of mass dropouts of students following the hikes in fees by the universities across the country.

National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, frowned on the fee increases, noting that the university is not a profit-making commercial centre.

Several federal universities began the implementation of increments in fees following the suspension of the industrial action by the ASUU in October 2022.

So far in 2023, the Bayero University, Kano; University of Benin, Benin; University of Lagos, Akoka; University of Jos; and the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife have also announced fee increments.

Condemning the decision by the school authorities, Osodeke said the Nigerian constitution prescribed free education but the parents, he noted, were paying for it.

He warned that the nation was not funding the education sector adequately, arguing that no nation could survive high student drop-outs.

The don stated, “The university is not a commercial centre where you break even or not. The constitution says education should be free but parents are already paying for the fee increment.

‘’Why is Nigeria not doing what other African countries are doing? The West African average says budgetary allocation for education should be between 15 and 20 per cent but here in Nigeria. We got just 3.8 per cent last year.

‘’No educational system will survive with this and a lot of our students will drop out. We should not allow our children to become nuisances on the streets, the government should handle education the way it was done in the 70s and 80s.’’

The ASUU leader counselled the Federal Government to give priority attention to education, adding that the universities were poorly funded.

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