AFTER five days of negotiations with the Students Union Government, SUG, of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, authorities of the institutions have finally bowed to the pressure of the students and drastically reduced fees payable in the university.
The students took to the streets last week over hike in school fees and blocked the Enugu – Onitsha expressway, while demanding immediate reduction of the fees. They argued that Unizik was among the costliest federal government –owned universities in the country, adding that their parents and guardians could no longer cope with the fees.
However, the management of the university went into negotiations with members of the SUG and eventually reached a consensus on Friday night, thus paving the way for a smooth matriculation ceremony that took place yesterday.
In the revised fees, incoming medicine, pharmacy and science -based students would henceforth pay N89000 as against over N100000 earlier paid, while arts based coursed would attract N84000. Fees for returning students were also reduced from about N53000 to N40000 for science students and N22,200 for arts students.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Professor Joseph Ikechebelu, who led the negotiating team expressed delight that normalcy, had finally returned after the tension –soaked situation of the past few days. Other officials of the university who took part in the negotiation are the director of Academic Planning, Professor Ike Odumegwu, deputy registrar, Mrs. Philomena Okoye, Speciaal Assistant to the Vice Cancellor, Professor Carol Arinze –Umeobi, a Council member, Professor Umenweke and Bursar, Dr. John Ojukwu.
The DVC said: “The management of the university and the entire students’ body are in total agreement with the new schedule of fees. This has put to rest the information making the rounds that the students are agitating for fee reduction. With this agreement, any further protest would be considered irrational and anybody involved in it should be prepared to face the consequences.”
The vice president of the SUG, Miss Ukoha Chito, who stood in for the president, Mr. Anyim Chukwuemeka, said the students were happy that the negotiations that lasted for five days had come to a successful end.
“We are happy to inform our students that there has been a reduction in fees payable by the students and this development is good for both the students and the management of the university. We assure that with this agreement, there would be no more protests of any kind in the university,” she said.