On Tuesday, the 14th of September 2021, students of the University of Benin came out to protest the school’s decision to enforce a ₦20,000 fine for missing the school fees payment deadline. Here’s everything we know.
After resumption on the 18th of August, the office of the Vice-Chancellor circulated a memo stating that any student who fails to pay their school fees by September 3rd will have to pay ₦10,000. The memo went on to state that if they are yet to pay the fees by the 13th of September 2021, ₦10,000 will be added again. The memo also stated that anybody who had not paid by the 18th of September 2021 is assumed to have withdrawn from the school and the school fees payment portal will be closed.
By the 3rd of September, students had noted that nobody’s school fees had been increased. On the evening of Monday, 13th September 2021, students who had not paid their school fees reported that ₦20,000 had been added to their fees.
When we spoke to some of the students, they told us that the deadline for school fees payment was usually at the end of their second semester, and only ₦10,000 was usually added as late payment fees. They also stated that on the school’s student’s portal, it mentioned just ₦10,000 increase after five weeks of resumption.
To show their displeasure at this change of events, the students gathered as early as 7am to start a peaceful protest. The starting point of the protest was the school’s main gate and ended at the Vice Chancellor’s office.
The protesting students were approached by various members of staff such as the Head of Security and the Dean of Student Affairs, but they declared that their intention was to speak to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lillian Salami herself.
As of the time of this report, the protest still goes on strong, and the Vice-Chancellor has not come to address the students.