ERC Condemns Criminal School Fees Hike in OOU Ago Iwoye
Calls for Mass Actions by Students to demand Reversal
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC), Ogun state chapter, condemn the recent 100 per cent fees increment by the management of the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, with the support of the Dapo Abiodun APC-led government. Without mincing words, this outrageous fees hike is not only criminal but it’s also the heights of insensitivity, inhumanity, and downright heartlessness, on both the parts the state government and the university management.
The ERC unequivocally demands total reversal without any condition, and also calls on students, parents and guardians, in equal measures to reject and resist this latest attack and attempts to turn public education into commodity for merchandise! We maintain that quality education is the right of every citizens, and must be funded with public finance by the government at all levels; not a product to be sold for profits!
According to news reports, the management of OOU, increased the school fees by more than 100 per cent across different faculties from N114,038 to N300,000, N160,500 to N450,000, and N92,872 to N260,000, payable by students. This is said to be coming on the heels of recent increments in acceptance fee from N60,000 to N75,000, and a 100 per cent increment in hostel fee!
Paradoxically, this criminal and ill-advised increments in school fees are coming at a time when workers, youth and masses of Ogun populace could barely afford to feed themselves, due to worsening economic crisis occasioned by the removal of fuel subsidy, high cost of living crisis, devaluation of the naira, scarcity of cash among others. This is made worse by the wicked refusal of the Dapo Abiodun-led state government to pay the miserable N30,000 national minimum wage across boards to civil servants, non remittance of pension and corporative deductions from workers’ salaries, non payment of gratuity to retirees, collapse of public infrastructure, among other anti-poor capitalist policies being implemented by the state government.
Interestingly, in the 2024 budget proposals presented by the Dapo Abiodun government to the state house assembly, 16% of the total budget amounting to N109.21bn is to be spent on education. However, in the budget breakdown, nothing was mentioned about allocations to the tertiary institutions across the state. This is despite the fact that before now, virtually all institutions of higher learning across the state, get little or nothing, as subventions from the state government.
This has led to increments in fees across the campuses, like the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, that recently increased fees payable by students of that institution by the management on the excuse of higher running costs, and being one of the schools in the south west paying least school fees!
Flowing from the above, it’s crystal clear that the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led government has concluded plans to commercialise public education, without caring a hoot about the attendant deprivation of the children of the poor and working class background access to higher education. It is only mass resistance and struggle that can compel the government to reverse implementation of anti-poor policies.
Therefore, we declare our total support for the Students’ Union which has rightly rejected the evil increments, and in the same vein, call on NLC, TUC, education workers unions and other mass organizations to give solidarity supports for students and their demands. We also call on the students, in addition to the rejection, to organize mass actions including press conference, rallies, mass protests, leafleting among others to mobilise public support to press home demands for the reversal of the outrageous hike in fees.
Eko John Nicholas
ERC Ogun state chapter
Email: [email protected]