The Alliance of Nigerian Students against Neo-liberal Attacks (ANSA) has declared the acceptance fees charged by institutions across the country as illegal and commenced a campaign against it.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council meeting held on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 and signed by Oseriemen Patrick Benjamin (Sankara), National Secretary; Sodunola Obafemi, National P.R.O. and Adeyeye 'Femi, National Coordinator.
The organisation specifically cited what it referred to as “frivolous increment in acceptance fees at Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye and the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, respectively”.
According to the communique, ANSA will also look into the issue of “political victimisation of lecturers at Lagos State University (LASU), as well as the case of Comrade Tosin Emerald Grace, said to have been exiled from academic activities at the ObafemiAwolowo University for a “fictitious offence”.
It read: “The Alliance of Nigerian Students Against Neo-liberal Attacks (ANSA) again seizes this revolutionary moment in the history of Nigeria to keep students, workers and the members of public abreast of its plans for massive fights and campaigns against all anti-student, anti-worker and anti-poor policies of the Nigerian government.
“We are reasserting our resolve to fight neo-liberal policies of University administrations in various higher institutions, stemming particularly from the poorest funding of the education sector with the ridiculously terrible seven per cent budgetary allocation to over 2,000 schools, resulting to highest level of deterioration, degradation and vulnerability.
“It is also important to alert members of the public that ANSA strongly condemns the illegal collection of acceptance fees from students after admissions. We find it very irrational for Nigerian students who after seeking admission and meeting the requirements, have to pay heavily to 'accept' the admission when offered.
“In this vein, we seriously reject and condemn in strong terms the frivolous increment in acceptance fees at Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye and the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, respectively.
“The issue of political victimisation of lecturers at Lagos State University (LASU) came up in the meeting and the members agreed to look into the issue throughly.
“We also find nauseating how a Students' Union leader at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has been kept on academic exile for a fictitious offence. It has been a year that Comrade Tosin Emerald Grace, the former vice-president of the union was unjustly suspended from the university.
“As a revolutionary movement of Nigerian students, we, with the support of our allies, are ready to fight and struggle to put an end to all these neo-liberal policies and effects of the Nigerian government and the corrupt administrations in various higher institutions of learning (Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, etc).
The organisation expressed its determination to “not only continue to campaign against these elements via various fora in words” but to also “massively take actions to expose the government and compel her to do the needful”.
They restated their commitment to ensuring that the Federal Government supports the UNESCO recommendation that calls for “at least 26 per cent budgetary allocation to education as against the absurd seven per cent”.
The meeting also arrived at the following resolutions:
“An anti-acceptance fee campaign shall start on September 26, 2018. We shall be challenging this act politically and legally.
“We resolved to lend our voices to the struggles of workers (NLC) and JAF for increment in the National Minimum Wage by joining at the barricades should their ultimatum of warning strike elapse and FGN fail to meet their demands.
“We will immediately hold a press conference to relay to the public our demands and other plans of actions in the coming days.
“There would also be massive and popular political symposia on the second week of October at Olabisi Onabanjo university, Ago Iwoye, with staff unions to analyse all these banes, sensitise students and channel practical ways forward to save public education from total collapse.”
They called for the support of students, workers and members of the public, while also noting that the NEC meeting featured a critical review of the central and zonal leaderships of ANSA “to make the struggles against all these neo-liberal policies of Nigerian government much more encompassing, massive and reach the grassroots.”
The following leadership structures of ANSA formed part of the resolutions: National Coordinator; Deputy National Coordinator; National Secretary; Assistant National Secretary; National Public Relation Officer; Mobilization officer;Financial Secretary; Zonal Coordinators (S/West, S/South S/East and North).
After deliberations on the review and extension of ANSA leadership structures, the following persons emerged after election: National Coordinator, Femi Adeyeye (UNILAG); Deputy National Coordinator, Ogbonna Collins (FUTO); National Secretary, Patrick Oseriemen Sankara (UNIBEN); Assistant National Secretary, Ramadan (Ibrahim Babangida University, Minna); National Public Relations Officer, Obafemi Trotsky Sodunola (OAU); National Mobilization Officer; Dada Talib (TASUED); Financial Secretary, Oladipupo Olamilekan Damilare (Lead city University); South West Coordinator, Abdul Azeez Soneye (TASUED); North Coordinator, Comrade Adewuyi (All is Well); South South Coordinator, Comrade God's power Stanley (UNIBEN).