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Unizik Mgt, students agree on new fee structure for 2020/2021 session

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta

The management of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, says it had agreed with students of the institution, a new school fees structure for the 2020/2021 academic year.

The Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone, who disclosed this to newsmen at the University Senate Chamber on Thursday night, said the resolution was reached after an emergency Senate meeting, and a 2-day dialogue with the students’ representatives.

Esimone, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Joseph Ikecheblu, said the institution had gentlemen agreement and understanding with the students to suspend all forms of protest regarding the alleged fee hike in the university.

Esimone said the university leadership has, and will always have the interest of students at heart, while urging the students to go about their normal business, as well as to continue learning in the conducive atmosphere provided for them in the institution.

According to the vice-chancellor, members of university management and the representatives of the students have discussed extensively and an official schedule agreed.

“You will continue with the 2019/2020 school fees, and the supposed 2020/2021 fee schedule is now suspended until further dialogue.

“We hope that this will further cement the peace and tranquility that our university is known for. The university remains peaceful, and the public should disregard all other information making rounds in the social media.

“Any other form of demonstration from anybody means that the person is not our student, and such individual will be disciplined appropriately.
We call on the law enforcement agencies in the school to be on the alert to ensure that there is no breach of peace within the university”, Esimone, the 6th substantive vice-chancellor said.

In various responses, the Student Union Government President, Chukwuemeka Anih, represented by his vice-president, Augusta Ukoha, assured the students that the university management had agreed to revert to the 2019/2020 fees structure, noting that the final document wouod soon be released.

“It is no longer news that we, the students have been on this negotiation table for the last few days and we are happy to tell our students that there have been a reduction in their fees. The decisions we took here are in the best interest of the students and the university management. We hope that when this document comes out, there will no longer be any protest as our decisions here were collective,” he enthused.

On his part, the President, Council of Faculty Presidents, Comrade Stephen Ogoegbulem, expressed satisfaction at the level of commitment of the university management to resolve the matter, calling for an end to the protests.

Speaking on the gains of the negotiations, he said, “Initially when this semester started, year three students were to pay a fee of N55,200, including the Association and Union dues but now it has been reduced to under N30,000. That means we achieved over N16,000 deduction for them.

“For year two students, they paid about N100,000 when they came into the school last year and when this semester started, they were meant to pay about N55,200. However, we are happy to inform them that we have gotten a discount of well over N10,000,” he said.

He said the success was achieved because the university management showed commitment towards availing the students quality education, as well as the doggedness of the student association representatives to secure a better bargain for the students.

Also, Chinasa Edomobi and Wisdom Onuoha, chairmen, council of departmental presidents and council of class representatives of the university, commended the students for sustaining the struggle through peaceful protest. They, however, urged students of the school to retreat and concentrate on their studies and shun further protests, as the matter had been laid to rest.

Earlier, the SUG President, Nnewi Campus of the university, Comrade Theophilus Okologbo, expressed satisfaction that the dialogue yielded fruits, while urging other students to remain peaceful as those who have come to acquire learning and good character.

Orient Daily recalled that the university, had, on Tuesday, constituted a committee to address the alleged hike in school fees, which led to wide protest in the institution on Monday and Tuesday. The committee comprised both the university management and students union representatives.

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