Academic activities were on Monday at the University of Calabar (UNICAL), following the students’ protest against the 100 per cent hike in tuition fees.
Our Correspondent gathered that the university had released a new schedule of fees that would take effect in the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 academic sessions.
The students, who protested peacefully to register their dissatisfaction, barricaded the roads leading into the campus, thus preventing workers from coming in.
The protest also caused heavy traffic jam on the roads, compelling some motorists to make a U-turn.
The protesters, who were no fewer than 100 in number, blocked the Mary Slessor and Etta Agbor Roads.
Many clutched fresh leaves, while others displayed placards with different inscriptions.
Some of the inscriptions read: “We came to school to study, not to kill our parents”, “The Vice Chancellor of UniCal went to school in her days, free of charge but today wants to kill students with crazy charges,” amongst others.
Speaking in an interview one of the protesters, Tony Erei, said they would continue the protest until the institution reversed to the status quo.
Erei said: “In the last few months, Nigerians have suffered a lot with the increase in the prices of everything, including petroleum products, without commensurate increase in workers’ income.
“Increasing charges now is uncalled for because students and parents are still struggling to pay the last increment done some time ago by the same university management.”
Another student, Amarachi Obialor, described the situation in the country as “sheer wickedness and insensitivity by our leaders”.
There was a heavy presence of police personnel around the protesters to ensure that the protest did not break law and order on campus.
Just recently, the management came up with a new fee, fresh students as well as old students and final year students for the non-science courses are expected to pay N111,000, N91,500 and N114,000, respectively.
They are also to pay N36,500, N21,500 and N21,500 as third-party dues.
Similarly, the fee for the science-based courses was increased to N155,000, N125,000 and N148,000, respectively, for freshers, returning students and final-year students.
Similarly, they are also to pay N38,500, N21,500 and N21,500 as third-party dues.
Before the hike, an average student, depending on the department, paid N64,050 for freshers, N52,050 for the final year, and N49,500 for returning students.