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Some students of the University of Abuja on Wednesday in separate interviews with The PUNCH lamented the decision of the school authorities to increase their tuition fees. This is as some of the students took to popular micro-blogging platform, Twitter, to lament the increment which was described as both ”unfair” and ”unjust” in protest.
According to a student who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, some of them had been struggling to gather money for payment of the former fees due to the economic situation in the country but were shocked to learn of the new hike in fees.
“Some of us are still struggling to make sure that our fees are complete and then we heard of the increment. There is economic hardship in this country. Where do they expect us to get the money to pay? Some of the people who spoke to the Vice Chancellor said the school explained that they needed money to construct some buildings; who will use the buildings if we cannot pay our school fees?”
Another student also lamented the constant increment in fees which she claimed was also experienced in 2020.
“The fees were increased in 2020. The funny thing is that new students have two weeks to pay. This is a federal university and not a private school, why is the school always increasing its fees?
A student who also lamented his plight on Twitter via @akashi68 said, “Third time in a row, University of Abuja has and continues to increase school fees, adding 10k to every session, I paid 27k later paid 37k, now it is 47k”.
But the spokesperson for the university, Dr. Habib Yakoob, when contacted by our correspondent, explained that the increment was a slight one. He explained that the university could no longer depend on the government for funds.
He said, “The increment is not that significant; it was a slight increment but you see, no matter what anybody says, there would not be enough justification for why it is increased because even one kobo might not be affordable for our students. So, we sympathise with them but do remember that even some of our lecturers and other members of staff also have their children here, So, everybody is involved.
“The University of Abuja is driving towards being a world-class university; a lot of developments have been taking place. We cannot also rely on the government for funds for the good things that the vice chancellor, the university management will want to carry out. So many projects and development are going on. So, with all of these, it requires some money and everybody is being taxed, not only the students. And it is just a slight review. There were consultations, it is not that the vice chancellor just woke up and decided to increase the fees,” he said.