Northern students protest tuition fee hike, education loan bill
Students from all northern states, yesterday, assembled in Gombe State, where they marched through roads within the state capital to protest against the hike in tuition fees and the Education Loan Bill.
The students, armed with placards with inscriptions like: “We want a secured future for all students; Give us the education you were given; Say no to exorbitant tuition fees; This government does not care about students and Say no to Education Loan Bill” among others, lamented the likely impact the hike in tuition fees may have on education in the north.
The National Coordinator of Coalition of Northern Group Students Wing (CNG-SW), Emuseh Gimba Bokunga, said: “The hike in universities’ tuition fees, if left unchecked, will lead to massive dropouts including returning millions of youths in the region to the streets as new students will have to give up their dreams of acquiring higher education.
“Returning students, yet to overcome the trauma of an eight-month Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike and struggling to bear the frustration of wasted academic year, resources and energy would find themselves at the receiving end,” she said.
The students demand a concerted action to checkmate the unfolding scenario by ensuring an immediate downward review of tuition fees across universities in the North.
They called on northern elites and all stakeholders to speak up to reject as well as discourage the passage of the Education Loan Bill, as the lifespan and sustainability of the loan are not guaranteed.
CNG-SW, however, appealed to Northern elites, including the business community to support public universities in their domains.
“Finally, we place the Federal Government on notice that if after these deceit pleas and persuasion, it fails to see reason, we shall take concrete actions which will not preclude mobilising for massive and sustained region-wide protests,” Emuseh warned.