The management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka has reduced fees payable as tuition after days of protest by students of the university. This comes as the Students Union Government, SUG, of the university and the school management met.
The students have for days staged protests over the hike in fees, they had also blocked the Enugu – Onitsha expressway, while demanding immediate reduction of the fees.
The students argued that Unizik was among the costliest federal government-owned universities in the country, adding that their parents and guardians could no longer cope with the fees.
However, the management of the university went into negotiations with members of the SUG and eventually reached a consensus on Friday, thus paving the way for a smooth matriculation ceremony that took place yesterday
In the revised fees, incoming medicine, pharmacy and science-based students would henceforth pay N89,000 as against over N100,000 earlier paid, while arts-based courses would attract N84,000. Fees for returning students were also reduced from about N53,000 to N40,000 for science students and N22,200 for Arts students. Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Joseph Ikechebelu, who led the negotiating team expressed delight that normalcy, had finally returned after the tension–soaked situation of the past few days.
Other officials of the university who took part in the negotiation are the director of Academic Planning, Professor Ike Odumegwu, Deputy registrar, Mrs. Philomena Okoye, Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Carol Arinze –Umeobi, a Council member, Professor Umenweke and Bursar, Dr. John Ojukwu.
The DVC said: “The management of the university and the entire students’ body are in total agreement with the new schedule of fees. This has put to rest the information making the rounds that the students are agitating for fee reduction. With this agreement, any further protest would be considered irrational and anybody involved in it should be prepared to face the consequences.”
The vice president of the SUG, Ukoha Chito, who stood in for the president, Mr. Anyim Chukwuemeka, said the students were happy that the negotiations that lasted for five days had come to a successful end.“We are happy to inform our students that there has been a reduction in fees payable by the students and this development is good for both the students and the management of the university. We assure that with this agreement, there would be no more protests of any kind in the university,”
she said. Both management and students of the institution agreed that no further protest must be held on the campus, insisting that anyone involved in such would be deemed not to be a student of the institution and may be arrested and made to face the law.