The TakeItBack student movement has taken a swipe at the management of the University of Benin over the recent hike in tuition fees.
According to the group, the management of the institution is insensitive to the plights of the students amid the national economic realities hitting barefaced on Nigerian citizens.
The position of the group was made known in a statement on Wednesday issued by Damilare Adenola, the National Coordinator of the Take-it-back Student Movement and Martins Jesuloni, the National Secretary of the Take-it-back Student Movement.
It condemned the move by the institution's management describing it as an attempt to further marginalise the children of the poor as it showed solidarity with the students.
The group urged other student bodies across the country to “ignite the wildfire of a national clamour for a free and qualitative educational system.”
The statement reads, “In order to attain the goals of economic freedom and prosperity, Nigeria must do certain things as a matter of urgency and priority. It must provide free education at all levels and free health facilities for the masses of its citizens - Obafemi Awolowo
“On the 14th of September, in the early hours of the day, students of the University of Benin came out en mass to protest against general fee hike coupled with burdensome extra-legal fees disguised as what according to the school is called "late payment fine", in the sum of twenty thousand Naira.
“This fine is billed, without recourse to National economic hardship and individual technical circumstances, on students who fail to meet up with the deadline placed on school fees payment.
“The take-it-back student movement finds no justification for imposing a penalty fee on students who initially are unable to pay up the already pricey tuition fee.
“This in fact raises concerns as to the level of the insensitivity of the school management towards the National economic realities hitting barefaced on the mass of the citizens. As of today $1 is estimated at #550 which consequently is skyrocketing the prices of essential commodities and services, yet the minimum wage for workers remains stagnant.
“With all sense of justice, the TakeItBack student movement throws her heavyweight of solidarity behind the students’ struggle against absurd fee hikes in UNIBEN and across all public institutions in the country and urges them to continue the dance of resistance to every tune of oppression out there.
“In the same spirit of justice, we condemn the management of the public tertiary institutions who of recent have grown a penchant for imposing burdensome fees on Nigerian students.
“As for Nigerian students across the country, the ongoing UNIBEN struggle is a wake-up call for us, whereas, there is never a better time for us to take the bull by the horn if not at this crucial point of gross educational decline. No other time is better than now to ignite the wildfire of a national clamour for a free and qualitative educational system, as it is our right and not a privilege.”