The Joint Action Front (JAF) on Sunday, warned against proposed hikes in tuition fees in public universities across the country, saying it would lead to the withdrawal of several students from schools if not reversed.
The group gave the warning in a statement by Dr Dipo Fashina and Abiodun Aremu, condemning the said outrageous increase and demanded immediate reversal and adequate funding of public education at all levels.
The statement reads: “The increments, we note, are as high as 800 per cent in some of the universities. We consider this callous and insensitive as it adds to the burden of working people and the poor who are already in pain under the deadweight of the criminal hike in petrol prices, naira devaluation and other anti-poor neo-liberal policies of the Bola Tinubu’s regime which account for high inflation and economic hardship.
“The hike in fees portrayed the Tinubu regime does not care about the well-being of working people and the poor, including access to education by their children.
“These criminal increments have equally given the lie to the claim of Tinubu’s regime that one of the reasons for the removal of the so-called petrol subsidy is to make more money available for education and infrastructure.
“The entrenched corruption sustained by successive regimes and their anti-poor neo-liberal economic policies meant that the poor masses will never benefit from the hike in petrol prices under the guise of subsidy removal. Rather, the money will as is the practice, be looted and used to further finance the opulent lifestyles of top government.
“We commend students from different universities who have risen in protests against the fee hike. However, as against the isolated character of these protests, we call for a unified response of Nigerian students including nationwide days of actions in addition to independent actions at different universities.”
The same fears were also expressed by the president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke who stated that it was not feasible for many Nigerian families to send their children to schools with the recent fee hikes given the economic situation in the country.
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