BY Tony Edike
ENUGU—Some students of University of Nigeria, UNN, Enugu Campus, Tuesday, staged a peaceful protest within the campus against alleged N12,000 increase in their school fees.
The students had in the early hour of the day stormed the main entrance of the university and prevented workers from driving into the campus, but anti-riot policemen dispersed them and took control of the gate.
The aggrieved students later dispersed but academic activities were paralysed throughout the day.
In its reaction, management of the university said it learnt with sadness the purported demonstration by a group of 40 students of the Enugu Campus protesting alleged increment in school fees.
A statement by the Registrar of UNN, Chief Anthony Okonta denied any increase in tuition fees in the institution, but said the management introduced a service charge for the university’s ubiquitous, 24-hour internet service on Nsukka and Enugu campuses of the institution.
It read in part: “Following a restriction and near shut-down of the service in the last academic session, various stakeholders prevailed on the university management to reintroduce the service given the benefits to all users.
“The Students Union in particular led a delegation to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, to make a case for the service and agreed to a minimal cost for it.
“University of Nigeria then introduced a service charge of N12,000 per session as Internet Service Charge, and this translates to N1,000 per month for always-on internet service.
“We note that majority of students are at peace with this fee, given the high cost of the alternatives, as well as the need to recover a minimum cost to ensure continuous running and maintenance of the internet service.”
“The unfortunate and ill-advised demonstrations by a group in the Enugu Campus comes against the backdrop of return to normal academic calendar at UNN for the first time in nearly a decade.
“UNN resumed for studies on September 27 for fresh students and October 4 for existing students and would vacate for the 2012/2013 academic year on June 30, 2013.”