Students from the University of Benin barricaded the Benin- Lagos Expressway and the Ekheuan Road, bringing the Edo State capital to a halt over an N20, 000 late registration fee imposed by the school management.
The students who took over the road at the school’s Ekheuan campus said they did so to protest the institution’s ” indiscriminate increase in their school fees. ”
Protesting students from the university’s Ugbowo campus also blocked the Benin- Lagos Expressway for several hours.
Students holding posters that said, ” Federal Uni don turn BOWEN, ” ” UNIBEN no be BOWEN, urgent $20k no be our budget, ” ” Oppression comes in different forms, ” and ” We didn’t sign for this injustice, ” played solidarity songs over the public address system.
When the site was activated, a student claimed they were protesting an additional N20, 000 to their school fees within two weeks, adding that the portal has been regularly down, blocking access to students who wish to pay.
According to the student, they were given until September 3 to pay their fees when the portal was activated, with the warning that any payment made after that date will result in an extra N10, 000 charges.
The student went on to say that immediately after the date, an additional N10, 000 was put to the account without any previous notice, bringing the total to N20, 000.
Within two weeks, they increased our fees by N20, 000. And now the PRO is suggesting that everyone who does not pay by next Saturday will be denied admission, i. e. , their admission would be revoked, ” she remarked.
Another student chastised the PRO for her statements on school fee payment, adding, ” The PRO saying it is a privilege for us to be admitted to study at UNIBEN is false! ” It is not a privilege; it is our right as Nigerians to attend any school in the country. ”
Another student claimed that since the current Vice-Chancellor took office, the University has been converted into a personal business.
” UNIBEN is now known as the University of Salami, rather than the University of Benin. Our VC is Lilian Salami. The student claimed that she manages the school as if it were her own business.
A second-year student who expressed surprise at the payment said the school should have taken into account the difficult economic condition before imposing late payment fees.
” Is it possible for a student who was unable to pay on time due to financial constraints to pay the fine in addition to the school fee? ” he asked. I will plead with management to reconsider and reverse this unpopular choice. We’ve decided to keep protesting until our demand is met. ”
Comrade Benjamin Lotana, President of the Student Union Government (SUG), believes that students and school administration should engage in conversation.
” The management should arrange a round table discussion with the students Union Executive Council, ” he stated. I am a firm believer in diplomacy, and the student body is as well.
” We adore our Vice-Chancellor, and we are confident that she will hear our cries and reverse the extra charges. ”
Some commuters stated that they had to depart and walk to their destinations.