Angry parents of the Federal University, Lokoja students on Tuesday staged a protest against the 300 per cent hike in the institution’s tuition fees.
The placard-bearing protesters marched round the university’s premises, chanting solidarity songs. They threatened to sustain the protest until the university’s management reversed the hike.
They also called for the immediate removal of the vice-chancellor, Olayemi Akinwumi, for what they described as an arbitrary hike in school fees.
The group leader, Moses Abraham, told journalists that the hike was a plot to deny children of poor Nigerians the right to university education. Mr Abraham said the increment was too high for parents to bear.
He, therefore, called on the federal government, through the education minister, to prevail on the university management to reverse the hike to avert a violent protest.
“The vice-chancellor is a civil servant, and we expect that he should be aware of the current economic challenges Nigerians are passing through,” he stressed and wondered how parents could afford the hike “when sources of income remain stagnant.”
Another parent, Florence Anachebe, said, “When the federal government established the university few years ago, we were happy. Unfortunately, the current vice chancellor wants to deny us the opportunity to train our children at the university. Since he came, he has virtually increased all charges and now the school fees.”
However, the university’s spokesman Daniel Iyke said there had not been any official release of any increase in the university’s fees. He said the hike in tuition fees became inevitable since the federal government could no longer fund education alone.
“However, it will be important for parents, students and the public to wait for (an) official pronouncement by the authorities before complaining,” said Mr Iyke.