Students of the Bayelsa government-owned Niger Delta University (NDU) at Amasoma have decried increase in school fees and other levies in the university, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Some of the students, who bemoaned the increment describing it as outrageous, insensitive and anti-masses, predicted that many indigent students would drop out of school as their parents would not be able to pay.
NAN reports that the government and the university’s management increased school fees by over 200 per cent for both Arts and Science students.
For instance, second year students of the Faculty of Nursing who paid N37,000 as school fees last year would now pay N100,000.
The increase in fees at the NDU is sequel to a new policy of the state government which had directed the university to fend for itself and stop depending on subventions from the government.
The students, however, expressed fears that the upward review of school fees could have serious security implications for the state and the Niger Delta region already battling with the challenge of militancy and other social vices.
They complained that most of their parents who were civil servants in the state did not receive salaries regularly.
The aggrieved students wondered where the government expected their sponsors to get the resources when it was not meeting its obligations to the workers in the state.
Agbogidi Emomotimi, President of National Union of Bayelsa State Students, NUBSS, appealed to the government and the university management to review the fees downward to avert mass dropouts.
Mr. Emomotimi said many students owed school fees for the previous academic sessions, the reason for which semester examination results had not been released.
“One thing we must understand is that the Ijaw man is one generation backward educationally. That’s why the Niger Delta University was established so that the Ijaw man can go to university even without money.
“We are shocked that the restoration government of Governor Seriake Dickson that declared a state of emergency on education can increase school fees to this extent.
“Even last year when school fees was N29,000, over 50 per cent of NDU students could not pay their school fees up to this academic session.
“That’s why results have not been released. There will be a lot of school drop-outs if these high fees are not changed,” he said.