In a surprising turn of events, students of Obafemi-Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, have issued a stern warning of a potential campus-wide shutdown in response to the university’s recent decision to raise tuition fees by a staggering 300 percent.
The contentious tuition fee hike, which has sparked outrage among students, was allegedly the outcome of an emergency management meeting held by the institution’s leadership just last week. According to the Public Relations Officer of the university, Abiodun Olarewaju, this drastic increase in fees was collectively agreed upon during the said meeting.
However, the Students Union Government (SUG), led by its President, Abbas Akinremi-Ojo, took a firm stance against the administration’s decision during a press conference held on Monday. Akinremi-Ojo declared that if the university management failed to reconsider its decision, the students were prepared to take drastic action.
“We’ve also written to all respective banks to halt the acceptance of fee payments from any student until a better resolution has been achieved,” asserted Akinremi-Ojo. “As much as we don’t want to, we are currently running out of options and might have to shut down all activities on campus and progressively on all other federal institution campuses in Nigeria because we are carrying the leadership of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) along.”
Akinremi-Ojo revealed that student representatives had engaged in negotiations with the university administration as early as August when they first learned of the plans to increase school fees. However, their efforts were met with frustration when the administration went ahead and announced the new fee structure.
The administration claimed that the Federal Government had ceased funding OAU. Nonetheless, a recent release dated September 15th, 2023, contradicted this claim by listing OAU as the ninth top-funded university with a budget allocation of N13.4 billion.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Universities Students (NANS), through its Chairman, Olayinka Popoola in Osogbo, has cautioned other universities against pursuing similar fee hikes. Popoola emphasized that universities must explore alternative funding sources to meet their financial needs.
The situation at OAU remains tense as students await the university management’s response to their demands, with the threat of a campus-wide shutdown looming large. LateestNaija News will continue to monitor the developments closely and provide updates as they unfold.