If there is something the entirety of Great Ife students are popularly and powerfully known for, it is nothing but total opposition, rejection and aluta against all forms of oppression, anti-mass policies and unreasonable reasonings.

It is no longer rumour but a verified fact that the Obafemi Awolowo University school management has concluded plans to increase the school fees of incoming students i.e the freshmen and the returning students for the 2013/2014 Academic Session. This was made conspicuous in the first stakeholders meeting held today at the level of the Ken Saro Wiwa Student Union Building. The stakeholders meeting had in attendance the Central Executive Council, Students Representative Council, Hall Executive Council, Presidents of Faculties, Departments and Associations, Media Groups and some prominent and concerned Great Ife students.

The sole agendum of the meeting was to fashion out workable ways to reject the proposed action of the school management on fees.

It was reached that the proposed school fees scheme is not only unjustifiable but also not warranted. It is just a deliberate aim at grieving the students and their sponsors at a delicate time like this, the stakeholders opined. In a document presented by the President of the Students’ Union, Ibikunle Isaac Motunrayo has the school Senate’s ratification and endorsement of the fee increment scheme, it reflects that OAU students will be paying as huge as N72,000-N80,000 as against the present fees which is as low as N7,000 in most faculties.

The Student leaders argued that the students are not to be held responsible for the irresponsibility of the Government at this time as against the reason of poor financing of the institution by the Government given by the school management.

Godspower, one of the Student Representativesin his own submission said ‘the foundation of OAU was laid by our forefathers for the poor, the pepper sellers and the farmers’ wards, I don’t have money and that is why I am here. If I had money, I would have gone to LASU or UNILAG where they pay exorbitant fees’. The Students leaders however advised the incoming students to be patient and be careful not to pay that unjustifiable fees.

Any fresher who pays that amount is doing that at his/her own risk’.

Some stakeholders however call on all tertiary institutions across the nation to join this struggle because if this policy is eventually implemented in a school as sagacious as OAU, then other Nigerian schools are not safe from it and even expect a more dehumanizing payment scheme in no time.

In lieu of this, the P.R.O of the Students’ Union, Bamidele Oludare launched the media hashtag to be used for the campaign to show the students dissatisfaction. You can follow the struggle on twitter and facebook using the hashtag ‪says NO

It will be recalled that OAU Students’ Union was proscribed in 2011 as a result of students demostration against the increment of the School’s Acceptance fee from N2,000 to N20,000. The Union was later reinstated after 3 years of proscription about two months ago.

The management recently released a document showed that charges of freshers admitted into Humanities/Social Sciences have been increased by 322%. Clinical Sciences and Pharmacy has also been increased by 267 percent, while those admitted into Sciences have 253% increases.

Analysis of the document obtained on Thursday, showed that newly admitted students of the university will be paying between N72, 400 and N84, 000 as against N17, 150 and N22, 150 previously paid in the university.

The document does not specify the acceptance fee amount to be paid by the newly admitted students but the institution currently charge N20, 000.

In the new charge regime, matriculation fees is increased from N1000 to N4000; registration/online verification from N4,000 to N5,000; Examination fees from N1,000 to N5,000; Departmental Registration/charges from N10,000 to N15,000; Students Union Levy/welfare from N100 to N300.

Others are Library services/visual library access from N500 to N1, 000; Medical Screening from Exam from N2, 500 to N5,000; Sport levy from N1,000 to N2,000; Identity Card from N300 to N500 and Brochure/Handbook from N150 to N2,000.

Newly introduced charges are municipal charges/utility for N25, 000; caution fee (refundable), N5,000; Information and Communication Technology Development , N5,000; Development levy/End fund, N25,000 and ICT training for N5,000.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Biodun Olarewaju confirmed the plan of the school to increase the charges of newly admitted students.

He explained that OAU was the decision to increase the fee was a “unanimous decision” of the university senate, adding that it was aimed at giving the students best academic standard.

It will be recalled that if the fee is increased, OAU new students will be paying more than University of Ibadan, which currently charge N28,150 to its fresh students, University of Lagos, N35,500; Federal University, Akure, N48,900; University of Benin, N45,000; and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; N27,305 among others.

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