The University of Lagos’ management has received a letter from the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) asking them to reverse the most recent increase in tuition.
Following a meeting between the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the UNILAG branch, and top management staff, UNILAG hiked fees for undergraduate students in the institution in a statement dated July 20, 2023.
According to the union’s statement, the VC announced that costs for UNILAG undergraduate students would increase.
As per the increment, students of the institution studying medicine who previously paid N19,000 will now pay N190,250 while for courses that require laboratory and studio, students are to pay N140,250.
NANS in the letter addressed to the Vice Chancellor of the institution lamented that the increment was not done in good faith and cannot stand.
The letter signed by the Public Relations Officer of the body, Comr. Giwa Yisa Temitope reads: “It is with all sense of duty, and patriotism I write to address the wave of fee increments I have come across on pages of newspaper about the University of Lagos which is my institution of study.
“Without boring you with unnecessary rhetoric, I want to state categorically that the increment was not done in good faith and as such CANNOT stand.
It is embarrassing that the University management took an arbitrary decision to increase sundry levies being paid by the students without consideration and consultation with the oﬃcial representative of students.
“To be clear, we are not oblivious of the age-long suspension of independent students’ unionism in UNILAG – an unacceptable situation NANS under our leadership is committed to reverse. But this however does not constitute a good enough reason for the university authorities to take a decision that would have far-reaching effects on the studentship and future of students without the decency to consult them through their oﬃcial representatives, which in the absence of a union structure, is the NANS.
“Though, if consultation were to have been done, as students, we would have still argued against fee increment because it is obviously an attempt to deny thousands of students access to education. As much as it is public knowledge that successive administration has failed to properly (I don’t want to use the word ‘fully’ because they have obviously not been funding it) fund education, the students and their suﬀering parents must not be made to carry the brunt of governmental failure.
“Global statistics have shown that Nigeria has 133 million poor people and tops the chart of unemployment with 33.3%. This is not just alarming but should be very worrisome to every Ivory Towers. “No wonder, even senior workers in the Senior Staﬀ Association of Nigeria (SSANU) at UNILAG cannot pay the new fees, as it is shown in their statement made available to the management and public. So, which parent can aﬀord these obnoxious fees?!
“The same way lecturers are stakeholders in the University campus is the same manner students are major stakeholders. Without students, there cannot be a university. Hence, they must be consulted before any action is taken in the University. Unfortunately, that was not done.
“I am, by this writing, on the mandate placed on me by Nigerian students, demanding an immediate reversal of the levies that have been introduced. I also demand that whatever payment that must have been made by students to this eﬀect must be reversed with immediate eﬀect.
“If and when the management sees the need for any increments, students should be called to the roundtable. However, we reject all the so-called palliatives rolled out thus far. As thinkers, we prefer to prevent sickness instead of taking pills.
“With this letter, we are asking all students of UNILAG not to pay a dime more from the old fees. We are also by this letter informing the authorities of our intention to pay a visit to the institution on Wednesday 2nd August 2023, to hold a congress of UNILAG students where all issues pertaining to the welfare of Nigerian students will be discussed.
“Should the management wish to take the opportunity of our presence in the institution on Wednesday to meet and discuss with students leaders about issues pertaining to the increased fees, we would be very much happy to make ourselves available.
“We thank the management for your audience. We promise to keep being as serene and intellectual as ever!”