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Benue School of Nursing shut down over students’ protest

By Joseph Wantu, Makurdi
09 October 2021   |   4:05 am
The Benue State School of Nursing and Midwifery has been shut down by the state government following last Thursday’s protest by the students against the decision of the management to hike their fees.

PHOTO: ChannelTV

The Benue State School of Nursing and Midwifery has been shut down by the state government following last Thursday’s protest by the students against the decision of the management to hike their fees.

The students were also said to have been irked by the unhygienic environment of the institution.

Some of the students, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Guardian that the institution has no potable water, saying they were always forced to go and search for water within the neighbourhood.

They alleged that the school authority and the state Ministry of Health and Human Services had turned a deaf ear to their complaints.

One of the students’ leaders expressed anguish at the manner their fees were increased from N50,000 to N80,000 without any official announcement.

Besides, he wandered why the school authority would compel them to pay the fees before they could sit for their examinations.

His words: “They increased the fees without approval by the state government. You find a situation where students go with N50,000 to pay as fees for the whole year only to be told by the accountant to pay an additional N30,000. This is happening during examination period.

“Students’ welfare too is very poor. We had a situation recently where a student collapsed and the school’s management could not treat him. His course mates had to contribute money and take him to Benue State Teaching Hospital where he is recuperating. We do not have toilets. Students defecate in the open and most of them especially the female ones had contacted bacteria diseases and this is a medical school. We have been paying school fees and nothing is done with those monies.

“Water is a big challenge. Some students went to the Government House recently to fetch water and they were almost sent packing but for the intervention of some well to do individuals. Our clinical allowances of paltry N3,000 monthly have not been paid for over six years now. Also, the school authority has deliberately refused to inaugurate a Students’ Union on campus so as to continue to manipulate us.’’

However, in a swift reaction to the allegations raised by the students, the state Commissioner for Health and Human Service, Dr. Joseph Ngbea, who spoke on phone, frowned on the protest by the students, noting that it was an embarrassment to the government and the ministry.

He denied that his office had no knowledge of any increase in school fees, assuring that the students’ grievances would be looked into.