By Ayomide Adegboro
The Management of the University of Lagos has said its fee is not the highest among federal universities in the country.
Recently, UNILAG had increased its obligatory charges by raising the fee from the hitherto ₦19,000 to ₦190,250 depending on the course of study.
The National Association of Nigerian Students alongside The Students’ Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike, an activist group created to crusade for a reduction in the fees, decided to protest against the increment on Wednesday.
The said demonstrators, who gathered at the school’s gate to protest, were stopped and tear-gassed by security operatives. Some were arrested and taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department at Panti.
Some of the protesters arrested on Wednesday have gained their freedom. Some of the protesters, Adeyeye Olorunfemi, Philip Olatinwo, Aduwo Ayodele and the National Public Relations Officer of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Giwa Temitope, were released from the state Criminal Investigation Department, Panti unit of the state police command.
The students were picked up by the police at UNILAG Junction where they had gathered to protest. They were heard chanting “Fees Must Fall Now!” The students dispersed after police fired tear gas at them.
While confirming their release, one of the student leaders, Adeyeye, said, “Nine of us were arrested, eight students and a plumber. The congress of students resolved to reconvene in 48 hours if nothing progressive is heard.”
Recall that the UNILAG management in July 2023 increased fees from N19,000 to N190,250 for students studying medicine while for courses that require laboratory and studio, the students were to pay N140,250. The management cited “prevailing economic realities” as reasons.
On her part, the spokesperson for UNILAG, Adejoke Alaga-Ibraheem, said the university management was not against lawful protest.“
The university is not against lawful and peaceful protests by our students. Our students, who are currently on vacation, are enjoined to channel all grievances through the Dean, Student Affairs, who is officially empowered to interact with students,” she said.