Chinedu Bosah (National Secretary, ERC)
15 February 2010
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) condemns the outrageous hike in fees at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, by the Adams Oshiomhole led Edo state government and the management of the institution, and demands its immediate cancellation.
The fees have been provocatively and unwarrantedly increased and we see no justification for it given the socio-economic difficulties most Nigerians are passing through. The fees formerly paid ranged from between N20, 000 and N30, 000, but have now been increased to between N54, 000 and N100, 000 depending on the courses of study. Going by the new fee regime, part-time and fresh students are to pay N100, 000; pre-degree students are to pay N90, 000; science based students are to pay N74,000 while non-science students are to pay N54, 000.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole has repeatedly stated, even before coming to power, that one of his government’s top priorities is education. The fees hike and neglect of the education in the past one year is a negation of the promise by Governor Adams Oshiomhole to reposition the education sector and place it as a top priority. What we expect of the Edo State government is to adequately fund of education in order to provide necessary facilities and motivate workers by paying a living wage and thereby guarantee quality education from primary level to the university.
The ERC calls on the entire students to resist this fees hike and demand its immediate cancellation. The students’ union leaders should organize systematic resistance in form of mass campaigns that will see mass of students march to government houses and to the media houses, embark on lecture boycott, continual peaceful protest and demonstration. The students should also call for the solidarity of all the staff unions (ASUU, NASU and SSANU) in order to defeat the new fees.
The ERC is appealing to the Ambrose Ali University branches of ASUU, NASU and SSANU as well as their regional and national structures, to show solidarity with students because an attack on the students is also an attack on the education workers. Members of the ERC and students showed enormous solidarity and support for workers in their struggle for improved funding for education and better living condition. Workers and students must stand side by side in solidarity in order to defeat education commercialization and attacks on the living standard. We also call on the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and students union bodies in all campuses to begin an action in solidarity with Ambrose Ali university students and a nationwide resistance against the general trend of hike in fees and education commercialization.