…To restore student unionism
By Adesina Wahab
After a marathon meeting with the national leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, the management of the University of Lagos, UNILAG, has agreed to a reduction in the obligatory fees payable by students of the institution.
In a statement by the Head, Communication Unit of UNILAG, Adejoke Alaga-Ibraheem, on Friday morning, the meeting was attended by the National President of NANS, Comrade Usman Umar Barambu accompanied by other NANS officers and the university team led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola.
“The meeting agreed that Utility Charges for all categories of students be reduced to N15,000:00 from N20,000:00. Obligatory fees for new undergraduate students was reviewed from N126,325:00 to N116,325:00 for courses without Lab/Studio and N176,325:00 to N166,325:00 for courses with Lab/Studio.
“The obligatory fees for returning undergraduate students was reviewed from N100,750:00 to N80,750:00 for courses without Lab/Studio; N140,250:00 to N120,250:00 for courses with Lab/Studio; and from N190,250:00 to N170, 250:00 for Medical / Pharmacy students and students in Health Professions.
“The Convocation Fee to be paid by all final year students was reduced to N27,000:00 from N 30,000:00. Hostels fees were reviewed as follows: For undergraduate hostels in Akoka and Yaba campuses, the fees was reduced to N43, 000:00 from N90,000:00. For hostels in Idi-Araba campus, the fees was reduced to N65,000:00 from N120,000:00. The fees for Sodeinde Hall was reduced to N135,000:00 from N250,000:00.”
At the commencement of the meeting, NANS President highlighted the demands of UNILAG students as: Reversal of obligatory fees, reversal of hostel fees, and the reinstatement of Students’ Union Government in UNILAG.
Comrade Barambu observed that the absence of Students Union Government (SUG) in UNILAG had adversely affected communication between the students and management. He also noted that students would be able to channel their grievances appropriately through their SUG.
Professor Ogunsola enumerated the dire situation of the University in view of prevailing economic realities, and the struggle to meet its obligations to students, staff, and municipal service providers, among others.
She stated the university’s commitment to the actualization of measures put in place to ameliorate the impact of the obligatory fee review.
These measures include the Instalment Payment Option, Revitalisation of Work-Study Programme, Assistance to Indigent Students, Triple A Project, Pay for Mentors Project, scholarship opportunities among others.
The Vice-Chancellor also reiterated that “No UNILAG student would drop out of the institution due to fees”. She stressed that the aim of the university was to deliver quality education to its students regardless of class, tribe or creed.
The VC would commence the process of reinstating students’ union activities in the university as soon as possible.
Student unionism has been proscribed in the university for over a six years.
Recall that students of the institution have been protesting since last week over the new fee regime which they described as prohibitive.