The Coalition of Northern Groups Students’ Wing (CNG-SW) has lamented the hike in school fees and other levies across tertiary institutions in the country.
The group expressed worry over an attempt by the federal and state governments to commercialize education to make it the exclusive preserve of treasury looters at the expense of children of millions of less-privileged Nigerians.
Addressing the press in Abuja on Wednesday, Comrade Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, the national coordinator students’ Wing of the group said institutions such as Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi In the northeast, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria in the northwest all with over 100% increase and Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) University in the north-central with over 60% Increase is worrisome.
Recalled that Ahmadu Bello University recently increased its school fees across all programs. According to the schedule of School Fees for undergraduate programs for the 2021/2022 Academic Session, some students are to pay as high as fifty thousand Naira.
“The CNG Students’ Wing, hereby condemns in the strongest terms, the hike in tuition fees as an untimely, immoral, unconscionable, height of insensitivity and unacceptable attempt to deny the children of the poor access to affordable education, entrench class dichotomy and widen the gap between the rich and the poor.
“We find it ridiculous and sad that stakeholders, particularly the lawmakers can not summon the courage to speak or stand with the people that sacrificed so much to see them in office at this trying time to demand an immediate reversal in the hike. When people who are elected into offices are indifferent or afraid to speak up for what is right and just, then the situation is hopeless.
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“It’s unfortunate, that people in government today who are major beneficiaries of the magnanimity and foresight of past Nigerian leaders in the provision of quality, accessible readily available and affordable education are today the same people working to deprive other generations of the same privileges,” he said.
He said this is worrisome given that it is coming at a time when promoting girls’ education was at the front burner of global discourse, especially in developing countries. This singular act has not showcased the government’s responsiveness towards promoting inclusive education.
Charanchi added that if the fees hike is not reviewed downward, it might force many students to drop out of school and increase social vices, as students might be compelled to survive by all means.
“We, therefore, urge the governments at all levels to revert to the old fee to enable students from poor and marginalized families to access tertiary education and break the chain of poverty.”