The management of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), in Ondo state, faced a protest from its students on Monday due to the proposed increase in their fees.
FUTA’s director of corporate communications, Adegbenro Adebanjo, was said to have issued a statement earlier confirming the university’s intention to raise the fees paid by the students.
Adebanjo clarified that the planned increase was necessary to cover student-related expenses and municipal services, such as electricity, water, hostel maintenance, and cleaning, considering the escalating cost of living.
Displeased with the development, however, the students took over the main gate of the university, creating a blockade and preventing the passage of both humans and vehicles, Naija News learnt.
The Cable reported that the students insisted that the management revert to the previous fee structure.
The president of FUTA’s students’ union government, Olayemi Oluwasoromidayo, appealed to the school’s management to maintain the fees from the previous year.
Addressing journalists, Oluwasoromidayo mentioned that the student body had engaged in multiple discussions with the management regarding this issue, but their demands were not met.
He highlighted that the management had increased the fees to over N200,000 for new students, while old students who used to pay N35,000 would now have to pay N130,000.
The students’ union president declared that the protest would continue until their demands were addressed.
Management Shuts Down School
In response to the students’ protest, the FUTA management decided to indefinitely shut down the institution.
It also ordered the indefinite postponement of the resumption of students for the 2023/2024 academic session.
Adebanjo issued a directive stating that all students who are currently residing on campus or in the university hostels must evacuate within a 24-hour period, Naija News learnt.
Additionally, the registration process for returning students through the university portal and the payment of fees, which were originally set to commence on January 15, have been temporarily suspended.
The Cable quoted Adebanjo saying: “The proposed new fees are mainly for student-related services which are sourced from the economy.
“And the costs of such goods and services provided by the University for the students will certainly be impacted by costs of goods and services in the economy.
“To ensure the smooth running of the university, certain consumables and payments for municipal services such as electricity, water, hostel maintenance, and cleaning and sundry other services are necessary.
“The costs of providing the services have shot up and the new charges are in response to this.”
Adebanjo said other costs that were adjusted as a result of economic reality include medical examinations for all new students.
Also affected are the cost of biometric ID cards, the tertiary institution’s students health insurance programme (TISHIP) administered by NHIS for students, and the final-year book.
“It is important to say that tuition is free and no money is being charged as tuition fee,” the communications director added.
“The management has an inbuilt mechanism within the system to look into and build consensus on matters affecting students, including charges and fees. And that mechanism is working on this matter and consensus will be achieved.”
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