By Laolu Elijah
IBADAN—THE Joint Action Front, JAF, yesterday, warned that any proposed hike in tuition fees in public universities across the country will lead to the withdrawal of several students from school if it is not reversed.
JAF, in a statement by Dr Dipo Fashina and Abiodun Aremu, condemned the said outrageous increase, just as it demanded immediate reversal and adequate funding of public education at all levels.
The statement reads: “The increments, we note, are as high as 800 per cent in some of the universities. We consider this callous and insensitive as it adds to the burden of working people and the poor who are already in pain under the deadweight of the criminal hike in petrol prices, naira devaluation and other anti-poor neo-liberal policies of the Bola Tinubu’s regime which account for high inflation and economic hardship.
“The hike in fees portrayed the Tinubu regime does not care about the well-being of working people and the poor, including access to education by their children.
“These criminal increments have equally given the lie to the claim of Tinubu’s regime that one of the reasons for the removal of the so-called petrol subsidy is to make more money available for education and infrastructure.
“The entrenched corruption sustained by successive regimes and their anti-poor neo-liberal economic policies meant that the poor masses will never benefit from the hike in petrol prices under the guise of subsidy removal. Rather, the money will as is the practice, be looted and used to further finance the opulent lifestyles of top government
“We commend students from different universities who have risen in protests against the fee hike. However, as against the isolated character of these protests, we call for a unified response of Nigerian students including nationwide days of actions in addition to independent actions at different universities.”