University of Benin
Vows to resist tuition fees hike in public varsities
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), at the weekend, condemned the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Edo State, management over the death of Austin Okafor, a 300-level student of Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Management Sciences.
NANS president, Danielson Akpan, stated that Okafor might have survived, if not for the lackadaisical attitude of the school’s management and the pathetic condition of its health centre.
A statement made available to The Guardian added that the departed student was left unattended for hours in the school’s health centre on October 2.
“Despite the urgency of the situation and the sensitive nature of the case, Okafor was conveyed in an ambulance with no life support facility to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), having been referred there.
“As if that wasn’t bad enough, the ambulance conveying him was made to stop at the institution’s Division of Student Affairs to perfect some unnecessary formalities.
“However, after another 30 minutes of delay at the Student Affairs Division, Okafor died while UBTH doctors were struggling to resuscitate him at the Accident and Emergency Ward after another 15 minutes of negligence and insensitivity on the part of the hospital management.
“NANS frowns at the situation and condemns in totality the way and manner the university and hospital management handled this case. We condole with the department, parents, families and friends of the deceased student. The family of the deceased must not be left in this solitude to carry the burden of this irreparable loss.
“It is so pathetic that due to the insensitivity of the University of Benin Health Care Centre, we lost another promising youngster.”
In another development, the association has warned against the proposed plan by the Federal Government to increase tuition fees in public universities to N350,000 and vowed to resist it.
The senate president, Abdulmajeed Oyeniyi, described the development as a “joke of the century.”
According to NANS, the Ibadan zonal chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Ade Adejumo, disclosed the increment to newsmen.
Adejumo reportedly said that the decision was the position of a Federal Government team led by Dr. Wale Babalakin when the team visited the union at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State.
“We believe that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has the love of the masses at heart and as such will not indulge in such increment.
“We are, however, sending a strong note of warning that NANS will vehemently resist any increment in tuition fees and any anti-students/masses policy,” he added.