Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM


Students must prevail on Tobiloba-led Students’ Union to mobilize for resistance against hiked accommodation fee and any form of fee hike 

We of the Education Rights Campaign, ERC, University of Ibadan branch specially congratulate and welcome to the campus the new students, after almost two years of awaited resumption. At the same time, we urge both the fresh and returning students to reject any form of fee hike and disregard the directive for the immediate payment of the hiked accommodation fees as published in a document titled “the procedure for the payment of the undergraduate accommodation fee for 2022/2023 academic session” which has been in circulation for a few days now. 

According to this document, new students and occupants of ABH in UCH are directed to pay #60,000 as the new fee for the accommodation while returning students are to pay #45,000. This is against the #30,000 paid in the previous academic session. 

As far as we are concerned in the ERC, there is no basis for a hike in the accommodation fee. All halls of residence remain in the same despicable condition as they were before students were asked to proceed on the end of the session break a few weeks ago. There is neither improvement in the internal facilities nor facial renovation. 

Again, the fact that the previous hike in accommodation fee failed woefully to translate into any meaningful improvement in the living condition within the halls of residence is a clear indication that the current hike is not also going to guarantee any concrete improvement in the facilities and living condition of students within the halls of residence. 

It is in the light of this background we consider the present hike in the accommodation fee by the Prof Adebowale-led university administration as one of the means to transfer onto students and their parents the burden of generating revenue for the running of the university including the maintenance of the opulent lifestyle of the university administrators. This will no doubt increase the economic hardship occasioned by the recent hike in the price of petrol and devaluation of Naira by Tinubu-led Federal Government which mass of students and their poor parents are battling with at the present time. 

The discriminating character of the hiked accommodation fee, where some students are asked to pay #60,000 and others to pay #45,000 for the same accommodation of similar deplorable facilities, is a ploy to ensure that students are not united against the hiked accommodation fee and other impending anti-student policies like school fee hikes. We believe the present hike in the accommodation fee is being used to test water by the university administration. Therefore, if this is not defeated it will encourage the implementation of other planned anti-student policies like the proposed school fee hike. 

We of the ERC equally observed that the document where the hiked accommodation fee was published was never signed by any of the designated officers of the university administration. This is the same way the earlier document tagged “proposed school fees” published few days ago was never signed by any officer of the university administration who later came out to deny any knowledge of it. This is also one of the reasons we call on students to disregard the document and suspend the payment of the hiked accommodation fee stipulated in the unsigned document. 

Instead, the students should begin to organize themselves to prevail on the leadership of the Students’ Union to convene a mass meeting or congress of both the new and returning students currently on campus.  Such a meeting will offer students to collectively seek clarification over the authenticity of the document. It will also provide an avenue to engage in a discussion and debate over what should be the collective response of students towards such a hike should they find out that it truly emanated from the university administration 

Finally, ERC calls on Tobiloba-led Students Union to stop shying away from its responsibility and commence the process of mobilising the mass of students on campus towards building a resistance against any form of attack on both their living and learning condition in the university. This must also include an appeal to all the workers unions on campus such as ASUU, NASU, SSANU, and NAAT for a support and solidarity. 

 Ben Taaffe 

ERC Coordinator UI