Students of the University of Benin have vowed to continue with their protest on Wednesday, as a follow-up to Tuesday’s demonstration at the school which shut down academic activities.
The students on Tuesday protested against N20,000 hike in their tuition.
In a flier sighted by SaharaReporters on Tuesday evening, tagged: ‘UNIBEN Protest Continues Tomorrow (No to 20K school fees increment),’ the students said Wednesday’s protest will commence by 7am.
Describing the protest as one that will have ‘no leader’, the students identified Hall 2 Car Park as the venue for those in “Ekosodin, Hall of Residents, Osasodje”.
For those in BDPA, Isihor, Oluku, Uwasota, the flier gave the protest venue as Main Gate.
“Then the Main Gate protest will be a big concert featuring DJ with good sound, Emcee and various competitions.
“The mic and the process will be coordinated to avoid the random sharing of mic as seen today.
“There will be dancing competition, rap battle and many games. Each faculty will nominate one person each for these competitions so it will be interesting and fun.
“There will also be few musical performances from some of our students,” the flier said.
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) September 14, 2021
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 on Tuesday, 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who did not pay school fees within the stipulated time would have to pay extra charges and might have their studentship withdrawn.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.”
In a video obtained by SaharaReporters, students were seen in their hundreds at the school’s main gate, with a voice saying, “UNIBEN students, we are under pressure, Aunty Lilian, please pity us.”
Prof. Lilian Imuetinyan Salami is the Vice-Chancellor of the school; she was appointed on December 2, 2019.
“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, from an initial N14,000 tuition, the school management increased school fees for the 2017/2018 academic session to N41,400.
The university management led by the Vice-Chancellor, Salami, increased tuition from N41,400 to N45,000 at the resumption of the ongoing academic session.
However less than a month later, tuition was again hiked with an increment of N20,000, bringing the school fees to N65,000.
The freshers 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, departmental 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 additional N20,000 imposed by the school management for the late payment of tuition.