22 February 2013

Nigeria: ABU Students Threaten Court Action Over Fees Hike

Zaria — Postgraduate students of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria yesterday threatened to take the university to court if the management goes ahead to implement fees hike.

Speaking on behalf of the Postgraduate Students' Representatives Council, Ja'afar Sani Bello, said the council has made efforts to make the university management revert to the old fees.

"I am an M.Sc II student in the Department of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture of the university. Our problem is the recent hike in the tuition fees by the management of ABU. Last year, for example, I paid N53,000, but coming back this year, we realised that there is increase of between 200 to 400 per cent. For instance in our department, students are now expected to pay N110,000 or N113,000, instead of the N53,000 paid last year. This excludes what students would be paying for research work, accommodation and other necessities. We have contacted the university management but they were adamant. The hike is harsh considering the economic environment of Nigeria. If we exhaust all avenues, we would be left with no alternative than to go to court to seek an injunction to restrict the university from implementing the hike. We want to appeal to the Federal Government to realise that postgraduate studies play a vital role in growth and transformation of countries," Bello said.

He urged ABU to take a cue from neighbouring universities of Bayero University and Dan Fodio University that charge less than N60,000 for academic masters.

Reacting, the Vice Chancellor of ABU, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha and DVC (Admin), Professor Na'iya Sada, said the students would have nothing to gain by going to court. Professor Sada said postgraduate programmes in ABU are cheaper compared to other universities.

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