UNIJOS Students Kick Against New Levy

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Harrison Iyoha

The announcement by the management of the University of Jos, UNIJOS, that students should resume immediately for the session with damage fees has irked some students and they have vowed to fight back.

The school was shut following the rampage that occurred on 24 November, 2014 as the students protested the increment in development fees. The institution will reopen for academic activities on Monday, 23 February, 2015.

According to the directive by the school management, the second semester examination which was disrupted by the students’ demonstration will also commence on Monday 23 February 2015.

The returning students are expected to tender a copy of their receipt of a compulsory levy of N12,000 for damaging the school properties.

P.M.NEWS Campus Square gathered that part of the conditions for the reopening of the school is that the students will sign an undertaking that they will be of good behaviour within and outside the school premises. They are to undertake oaths to be of good conduct for the remaining period they will be in the university.

In a chat with our correspondent, some students of the school castigated the school management for the unpleasant decision they want to impose on them when they are yet to resolve the issue that led to the bloody protest late last year.

President of the Students’ Union Government, SUG Abel Nok Du, during the protest last year said the students were not happy with the recent increase in school fees.

“We are calling for the removal of N10,000 development levy from our school fees. We are also calling for the reduction of N25,000 acceptance fees for admission,” he had said.

The students vowed to continue to lock their lecturers and VC out of the school until the school management rescinded its decision on increasing the development levy.

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According to him, “in the Northern part of the country University of Jos students pay the highest development levy, including acceptance fees.”

In a chat with our reporter on phone, Sofia, a final year Medical student, disagreed with the decision of the school management in trying to increase their fees- which they are yet to agree with- to N12,500.

“I really don’t understand the reason they want to make life more difficult for us. Why should students be paying that kind of money? Forget the fact that I am in my final year, I can tell you this protest will affect our calendar.

“I was supposed to graduate this year but the unnecessary strike by ASUU affected me and when I was preparing for my exams, this has happened again. It is so annoying that these people don’t have the poor at heart when taking some unfavourable decisions to massage their selfish egos.

“Unfortunately, there’s little I can do about it. All I wish is for this issue to be quickly resolved and we go back to class,” she said.

Efe, another student of the institution, told our reporter that she is yet to come to terms with why the school management wants to make life on campus more boring for students.

“What is the purpose of collecting this money? This school is one of the most expensive federal universities in the country as at today. The last protest was because they increased our school fees and now they are asking for another N12,500 as sanction because we stood for our rights. Isn’t this intimidation? The school management has failed to answer our questions. There are so many levies students pay for facilities without getting access to them. Personally I plead with our school management to make students get full value for their money and leave our school fees the way it was before the whole brouhaha,” Efe added.

The school management, according to another student, should be ready for battle because the students are not ready to take the purported intimidation from them.

“We are yet to resolve the issue at hand and they are bringing another one to rob on our face. Why are we this inhuman in this country? How do they expect the poor in this school to cope? I and my twin sister are in this school and we are both science students in our final year. Our parents are retired civil servants who are yet to get their pension for months and this school wants to make things more difficult for my parents.

“As medical students, my school fees is about N27,500 excluding other hidden charges. If I add those charges and departmental dues, everything would be running to about N37, 000 while medical students from UNIBEN pay as low as N15,000. All we are asking for is that UNIJOS should consider our poor parents,” Odion, another aggrieved student noted.