4 September 2014

Nigeria: Students of Higher Institutions Shut Benin-Ore Highway

Students of the Edo State-owned Colleges of Education, Ekiadolor and Igueben as well as the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, and the State Institute of Management and Technology, Usen, on Wednesday blocked the Benin-Ore-Sagamu federal high way in protest over poor infrastructure and unpaid salaries of their lecturers.

It was the second time this year the students were embarking on protest. The students also carried out similar protest in June where they barricaded the ever busy Benin-Lagos Highway, resulting to heavy gridlock on the road.

During Wednesday's protest, passengers from both Lagos and Benin axis of the road were stranded for hours following the barricade of the road by the protesting students.

Speaking to newsmen, the SUG President, College of Education, Ekiadolor, Emmanuel Amenaghawon, who led SUG Executive of other Colleges in the protest, said students were tired of ill-treatment meted on their lecturers coupled with neglect of their schools facilities.

He described the campuses as glorified secondary schools accusing Edo State Government of being insensitive to their plight, adding that besides poor funding, the schools lacked inadequate infrastructure for proper learning.

The height of it all, according to him, is the Edo State policy to the management of the four schools to generate at least 35 per cent of internally generated revenue before their subventions can be increased.

Amenaghawon disclosed that lecturers of the affected schools were already on a warning strike over the non-payment of their salaries, arrears of allowances and poor facilities in the campuses.

He said "any moment from now our lecturers will embark on indefinite strike and this will affect all of us especially those in final year which is why we are protesting to draw the attention of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

They appealed to relevant authorities to urgently come to their aid as the school cannot compete with other colleges in the state.

But some soldiers later dispatched the protesting students and as at the time of filing in this report, the state Commissioner for Higher Education, Washington Usifoh, was yet to react to the issues raised as his two phones could not be accessed.

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