July 12, (THEWILL) – Academic activities at the Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden in Mpat Enin Local Government Area, were on Monday halted following a peaceful demonstration by the students over the hike in their school fees.
THEWILL gathered that the university recently announced an upward review of school fees with over 75 percent increment for the fresh students in the 2020/2021 academic year.
According to our sources, the fresh students, who are indigenes of the state, were mandated to pay the sum of N90,000 from the initial N53,000, while non-indigenes would pay N120,000.
However, all returning students were to pay the same amount they paid last session which is N53,000 for indigenes and N73,000 for non-indigenes.
It was gathered that the protesters, who blocked the main entrance of the institution at the Ikot Akpaden Campus, however, did not molest or prevent students or lecturers from going into the school compound.
The protesting students displayed placards of various inscriptions some of which read: “NANS demands immediate reversal of schools fee,” “#OccupyAKSU,” “Mother of all protests,” among others.
One of the students told THEWILL that it was unfair for the university authorities to increase school fees with the prevailing harsh economic realities in the country.
“The country is going through serious economic hardships occasioned by COVID-19. And for the school authorities to come up with a hike in school fees at this time is not encouraging,” the student reasoned.
He said students will resist every attempt to increase school fees at any given opportunity.
Efforts to speak with the institution’s Director of Information, Mr. Akaniyene Ibanga, proved abortive as he was not responding to numerous calls sent to his mobile phone.