Posted by News Express | 4 June 2014 | 2,963 times
Students of the Lagos State University (LASU) again on Tuesday took to the streets in Lagos, causing traffic gridlock on the Lagos–Abeokuta carriageway.
They blocked the road leading to the domestic wing of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, forcing motorists to spend hours in the traffic.
The students were protesting hike in their school fees.
Most of the motorists, who called in the Lagos State Government run Radio Traffic, complained that they did not know what was happening, as they were forced to go through the gridlock.
The protesting students urged Governor Babatunde Fashola to direct the closure of the institution’s payment and registration portal.
The institution’s student union’s President, Nurudeen Yusuf, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the closure of the portal was necessary until government reduced the tuition fees.
Yusuf said: “We hereby appeal that the payment and registration portal be closed till the government makes pronouncement on LASU fees as proposed by the students union.
“This is to ward off unforeseen eventualities that may arise in the nearest future.”
Yusuf said the deadline by the management for students to pay their fees and register courses for the 2013/2014 academic session before May 30 has lapsed.
He said students were bent on their “no reduction, no resumption” policy and that discussions on how much the students would pay were still ongoing.
Fashola, at a meeting with LASUSU on March 31, directed the students to come up with a proposal on how much they could afford.
The students decided that the fee should be reduced to N46,500 for returning students and N65,500 for fresh students.
The proposal by the students was submitted on April 24, while several reminders were sent to the Governor on the issue.
Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye, at a media briefing on May 8, said the government would soon make a pronouncement on fees.
But Yusuf said the students were not satisfied with the government’s statement since the word “soon does not indicate a definite time”.
“If a 50-year-old can die and we say gone too soon, hence, anytime can be soon,” he said.
Yusuf said sequel to several peaceful protests by the students, the State Exco Ad-hoc Committee met with the union on the review of LASU tuition on May 27.
He said the committee, chaired by Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, had decided that quality education could not be achieved based on the students’ proposal.
Opeifa said the tuition of N46,500 would make LASU a university for the poor and all comers.
“The committee said the state government is subsidising education in LASU by 90 per cent and government is only responsible for free education up to secondary level,” Yusuf added.
•Photo shows protesting LASU students.
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