The students of the University of Benin, UNIBEN have began protesting the extra N20,000 charge imposed by the school authority for late payment of school fees.
This, according to students, would make the payment of the school fees pegged at N41,400 difficult due to economic situation.
The management of UNIBEN had also earlier announced that students who did not pay school fees within the stipulated time will have to pay extra charges and may likely have their studentship withdrawn.
Part of the statement signed by the school public relations officer, Dr. Benedicta Ehanire read: “registration by all students closes on 3rd September, 2021; and after such date, students will no longer have access to the school portal”.
One of the students government officer in a statement stated that the students union government, SUG will meet the school authority over the increment.
He said “It is no longer rumour that the institution, UNIBEN has added N20,000 to the school fees charges for late payment”.
“At this point, students that are yet to pay should remain calm as the leadership of the Golden Age SUG exco (19/20) will be meeting with management on this issue. ” The SUG member advised.
Another member of SUG who craved anonymity explained that UNIBEN’s action was not fair to the students.
He said: “First, they said they will add N10,000 from the 6th – 9th September. Then, the following week, that is, this Monday, September 13, they will add N20,000. But as at last week they did not effect the additional N10, 000. So, everybody felt maybe they gave extra one week of grace. In fact, some persons were already not expecting the additional N10,000, only to see that the N20,000 has been added.
“And on the Sept 18, the portal will close, totally; thereby denying students their fundamental right to education. The SUG promised to meet the management. And I believe we will get positive response.
An anonymous student said:
“It is very wrong. They know that this country is in a mess. If we can’t pay N42,000, how can we pay N62,000 because of N20,000 addition?
“I was among those who supported this Lilian Salami’s administration. But, after this singular act, the management has proven that education is not for the less privileged. And that Uniben doesn’t care if the students are emotionally okay or not. What was the need for work and pay program if they are still going to take food from the mouth of those they claim they want to help? She asked
A 200 level student, from the department of History, who gave his name as Ayomide said : “In this country where even the price of water has increased, a woman, a mother, a Nigerian, alongside other persons decided that students need to pay school fees fast and the best way to get them do this is to add extra charges of almost 50% of the original amount of school charges for 200 level students. Prof. Dr. Salami needs to revoke this new development, it is not welcomed. “
Also, another student added: ” To even get money for feeding here is like a grapple not to talk of paying an extra N20, 000 charges for late school fees payment. I’ve been available to talk with some students that work on their own to make payment. And it’s a tearful one. Many are considering suicide. And others are considering dropping out. In fact, most are considering a lot of ‘not good to think’ wrongs just to be able to finish off and get themselves out of this school”.
In response to this, a 100 level student of Radiograghy said: “With the way things are going, I’m beginning to think it was just a big hoax to prompt parents and guardians into immediate payment of fees. I strongly believe it was unwarranted and uncalled for as parents/guardians are put under duress due to the ‘proclamation’ given by the VC.” She said.
Meanwhile, the school authority stated that the extra N20,000 was for penalty fee for defaulters who could not pay the school fees on time.