The students of Ebonyi State University have made plans to embark on a peaceful protest to register their grievances towards the introduction of the developmental levy and other levies by the management of the institution which led to the increment in their tuition fees.
Coordinator of NANS zone B, Comrade Alfred Nwuruku, stated this at the College of Agricultural Science of the university while addressing journalists at the weekend after constituting joint campus committee of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) of EBSU chapter.
This is coming barely a few weeks the school management had announced an increment in the school fees and introduction of “developmental fee” to be paid by 2021/2022 fresh students in a memo titled “Newly Approved Developmental and Accreditation Fee” and signed by the university’s Registrar, Mrs Bibian Nwokwu, and made public on January 5, 2022.
According to the registrar, the decision to increase the fees/levy payable by the students was taken during an emergency meeting of the top management committee of the university held on December 10, 2021.
The registrar also noted in the document that all students are to pay an accreditation fee of N10,000 apart from their normal tuition fees, while new students pay a developmental fee between N250,000 and N50,000 and an accreditation fee also.
But NANS South East/South-South Coordinator, Olisa Nwuruku, urged the students to remain calm and put on hold the planned protest.
According to him, they have already commenced negotiation on the matter with the school management.
He said “the students of Ebonyi State university never paid what we know today as a developmental levy. I think this was part of the resolution and recommendation made by the registration committee set up last year to visit schools in the southeast and return to the government with the recommendation. This recommendation was accepted by the management and they initiated this levy.
“On record, it has never been in existence in Ebonyi State University. This is the first of its kind. Though instances were cited that other schools are paying it but our grievance is, why must it be a bad policy that we will inherit on resumption of academic activity?
“The price they tag is medicine is to pay N250,000, law N250,000 same thing to other departments till the least is N50,000 and accreditation fees for continuous students is N10,000 till you graduate. So, that is the issue on the ground and our students are saying that they are not going to pay it.
“They increased the school fees of Ebonyi State university by creating developmental levy of different departments with different prices. So, our students admitted that with a very bad attitude and behaviour by taking to the air to register their expression against such decision.
“As a leadership, I waited for the SUG President to respond, they responded. A congress has been called on the first of February wherein all the students are going to be available and their position paper will be raised and same will be communicated and transmitted on-air and also that is what will inform the basis we are going to stand as the leadership of National Association of Nigeria Students to also interface with the management.
“We resumed our negotiation like I said on Thursday. We met with the management staff led by the Vice-Chancellor, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and all other management team. We told them that as leadership, we are in tandem with the students, their cries are our cries and other illegal dues being collected recently by the university. We have also asked the leadership of the SUG to get us their position on 1st February and on 2nd, we will also interface with the management as a leadership.
“We are aware of what is going on and we are on top of the matter, we will not go to the street and we also warn any student who has already planned to engage in protest as the final resolution to desist from it. Our leadership is not aware of any protest and anyone that will arise tomorrow, anyone that will start today, we disassociate ourselves from it. We will continue to seek the rules of engagement while we seek justice to be done.”
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