The National Association of Nigerian Students has vowed to resist plans by some tertiary institutions to increase tuition fees, its President, Mr. Chinonso Obasi, has said.
Obasi, in a statement he issued on Wednesday in Abuja, said that NANS had received the report that no fewer than 38 tertiary institutions had concluded plans to jack up tuition fees.
The NANS president said the association was pained by the move, as Nigerian students had, over the years, been made to bear the brunt of “administrative ineptitude” of managers of tertiary institutions.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities had, on Monday, alerted Nigerians to the increase of tuition fees by 38 universities due to poor funding by the federal and state governments.
Obasi noted, “In saner climes, education funding includes revenue from researches and consultative collaborations.
“Implementation of UNESCO strategies, particularly commercialising research findings, should occupy Nigeria’s educational institutions rather than a constant hike in tuition fees payable by hapless students.
“However, NANS believes that the planned hike in tuition fees would be the last straw that would break the cycle of obnoxious levy on learning and pursuit of education.’’
He regretted that the APC-led administration had not shown enough commitment to improving the education sector and the plight of students.
Obasi said that students were made to study under poor conditions in spite of their positive contributions to the success of the administration’s key policies and programmes, such as the fight against corruption, maintenance of peace and unity of the country.
He said that Nigerian students did not deserve such harsh punishment, as fee increase would further limit the capacity of students to dream of a better future.
“Consequently, NANS wishes to serve notice to the authorities concerned that Nigerian students will never endure any increase in tuition at this time of the nation’s socio-economic challenges.
“If administrators of Nigeria’s educational institutions have run out of ideas for funding and sustaining educational institutions in the country, they should feel free to liaise with students to explore new ways of funding the institutions.
“While we express our readiness to speak with chief executives of tertiary institutions, NANS wishes to reiterate the fact that Nigerian students have been patient with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
“The President Buhari administration should recognise that this is the time to reward the understanding and cooperation of Nigerian students with education subsidy, proper funding of education and adequate welfare initiatives for students,’’ he said.
Obasi called on well-meaning individuals and stakeholders to hasten and find lasting solutions to the “deplorable condition of the education sector” in the country.