NEWS

Don’t disrupt academic calendar, UNIABUJA begs as students protest

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Students of the University of Abuja, Gwagwalada, FCT, on Monday, staged a protest along the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Expressway and main entrance to the campus against alleged hike in tuition fee and other issues.

The students were also seen carrying placards with different inscriptions kicking against alleged closure of the portal meant for the payment of school fees and others.

Student Union Government (SUG) President, Oladeja Olawale, who led the protest said the major demands of the students include reopening and extension of school fees portal to the end of the session.

Others, according to him include scraping of the late registration fee, review and reduction in school fees ahead of next session and postponement of first semester examination from Feb. 8 to March 8.

Olawale said the expressway would be closed with the protest continuing till all their demands were met by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na-Allah.

Reacting to the protest the Public Relations Officer of the University, Habib Yakoob, said the management would sit with the student’s union to address their demands, Punch reported.

The statement said, “This morning, Monday 1st February 2021, at 7:30 am, some students blocked the Main Gate of the University, preventing other students and staff from gaining access into the campus.

“The students said they were demanding the reopening and extension of school fees payment portal, cancellation of the late registration fee, and postponement of exams till 8th of March 2021.

“The University Management states that following the release of 2019/2020 Academic Calendar by the Senate of the University, the registration of students was to be done in four weeks.

”Following the expiration of this process, the University closed the portal in February 2020 in line with the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar.

“Yet after pleas from the students’ union, the Vice-Chancellor, in his magnanimity, twice directed the reopening, at different times, of the portal to accommodate those who didn’t register on time.

“In the last week, a couple of meetings were held with the students’ union which again demanded the re-opening of the portal. The University administration held an emergency meeting with the union at 2.00 pm on Sunday 31st January 2021 and considered their appeal.

“Consequently, the portal was reopened on Sunday 31st January 2021 for registration, for another two weeks – till February 14, 2021, and the students were duly informed. Again, the late registration fee for those who had not paid their school fee as well as those who paid but did not register was waived; and the late registration fee of N5,000 was to be refunded to students who had earlier paid.

“The University Management, is however, surprised that while so many of our students were excited to be resuming to campus today after ten months at home, they were held back by some elements among students who are protesting the same issue that had already been addressed by the University.

“The University appeals to all law-abiding students to not partake in disrupting the 2019/2020 Academic Calendar, considering the amount of time lost to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and Covid-19 pandemic; and that it is putting all necessary measures in place to address this unfortunate development”, Yakoob stated.

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