Students of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) have staged a protest against the increment in tuition fees by the school management.
The protesting students on Monday shut entrances to the school as early as 6:30 am. They also barricaded the busy Akure-Ilesa highway to press home their demand for the immediate reversal of the hike.
Students lamented that the school authorities increased the fees by 300 percent. They, however, maintained that the management must return to the status quo.
Olayemi Oluwasoromidayo, president of the FUTA Student Union (FUTASU), who spoke with journalists during the protest, said it was unwise for the institution to make the move given the current economic challenges in the country.
Oluwasoromidayo stated that the student body had met with the management countless times, but it refused to yield to their demand, hence their decision to stage a protest.
According to him, the school increased tuition fees less than a year ago, adding that another increment at this time was callous.
He said the management increased the fees to over N200,000 for fresh students, while old students who were paying N35,000 would now pay N130,000. He said the students would continue the protest until their demand was met.
The institution’s management has, however, ordered the indefinite postponement of the resumption of students for the 2023–2024 academic session.
Adegbenro Adebanjo, the institution’s director of corporate communication, in a statement made available to journalists in Akure, also directed all students on campus and in hostels to vacate within 24 hours.
According to him, tuition for students is free but certain consumables and payments for municipal services were increased.
“Registration of returning students via the university portal and payment of fees by all returning students for the new academic session via the portal scheduled to begin on Monday, January 15, 2024, 2024 is put on hold.
“It is important to state that the university did not open the portal for registration for returning students for the new session, contrary to what was being bandied in the public domain.
“The proposed fees are mainly for student-related services that are sourced from the economy. And the costs of such goods and services provided by the university for the students will certainly be impacted by the costs of goods and services in the economy, Adebanjo said.