The University of Benin students on Tuesday shut down academic activities at the university, as they occupied the gate in large number to protest against hike in their tuition fees.
The students, who alleged that the institution’s spokesman told them to go into prostitution to pay their fees, gathered at the school main gate, carrying placards with different inscriptions, such as 'Madam VC wants to milk us dry', 'Salami wants us to do cash out', 'UNIBEN VC Salami is after my sanity as a student', and many more.
UNIBEN had earlier announced that students who did not pay school fees within the stipulated time would have to pay extra charges and might have their studentship withdrawn.
The statement signed by the school public relations officer, Dr. Benedicta Ehanire had noted that “registration by all students closes on 3rd September, 2021; and after such date, students will no longer have access to the school portal.”
PHOTONEWS: University of Benin Students Protest New N20,000 Extra School Fees Charge As Schoolâs Spokesperson Tells Students To âGo Into Prostitution To Pay Feesâ pic.twitter.com/Sw5z4Mvqvm— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) September 14, 2021
In a video obtained by SaharaReporters, Students were seen in hundreds at the school main gate, with a voice underneath singing "Uniben students we are under pressure, Aunty Lilian please pity us."
“The UNIBEN that we have been managing, when it gets to Aunty Lilian's turn, she said it's N20,000. Na Wah oo! We need help.
"Currently happening in Benin, everywhere is filled up with students Protesting for their rights.
"Students of University of Benin are very displeased with the act of their Vice Chancellor," one of the protesters said.
According to a source, the students previously were paying N14,000 as tuition. It was increased in the 2017/2018 academic session by the authorities to N41,400.
The University management led by the Vice-Chancellor, Lilian Salami, increased again at the resumption of the ongoing academic session, the fees from N41,400 to N45,000.
However less than a month later, the fees were again hiked with an increment of N20,000, bringing the total fees to N65,000 for both students in the Art and Sciences.
The newly admitted students are asked to pay N90,000, a sum considered to be outrageous by the students.
"These insensitive hikes are consistent despite the fact that students have several other fees the institution imposes on them. Some of these compulsory fees include: Faculty dues, Department dues, Course registration and many more.
"The management of the institution claims it does not officially sell handouts, its lecturers coerce students to pay for same," the source revealed.
SaharaReporters had earlier reported that a group, Movement for a Socialist Alternative, kicked against the University of Benin, Edo State's extra N20,000 charge imposed by the management for the late payment of school fees.
The group, Movement for a Socialist Alternative, disclosed that late payment was not a criminal offence, while they rejected expulsion as punishment for late payment of school fees and N20,000 additional charges.