By Scroll reporter Lagos, Nigeria.
The Save TASUED and Fund Education Coalition (STAFEC) wishes to seize this medium to inform the mass of the Nigerian populace its dauntless resolve to stage a mass action against the anti student/anti-poor policies of the Amosun led government of Ogun State on the 6th of February 2017. The mass action is aimed at showing our displeasure towards the premeditated neglect of public education especially TASUED by the Amosun Government of Ogun State. We take exception to the illegal and arbitrary tax of N10, 000 imposed on students and we reject in totality, the increment in acceptance fee from N30, 000 to N40, 000. The coalition maintains an outright rejection of the introduction of N25, 000 registration fee; we consider it as fraudulent, thoughtless and unacceptable especially at the time the same students and their unpaid parents barely managed to pay the pocket tearing N76, 500 school fees, astronomical acceptance fee and many other ridiculous charges. We consider it as wicked to impose such enormous burden on poor Nigerian parents at a time of a biting recession that sees the average Nigerian family regard a two square meal as an unaffordable luxury.
The coalition demands immediate reversal of all of these anti-poor policies, a careful probe into the spending of the University management and immediate upward funding of the University vis the prompt/adequate payment of the allowances of Staff Unions of the institution. The government in the past years has deliberately starved the University of the Needed Fund to indeed function as a qualified tertiary institution. The respective state governments of Ogun State have for a very long time taken a huge delight in Underfunding TASUED. For instance, the Gbenga Daniel led PDP government allocates an insignificant paltry of 61million naira on a yearly basis, although not adequate and timely. The much condemned underfunding of the Gbenga Daniel regime was only surpassed by ridiculous extent of the gross irresponsibility of Amosun led APC government whose immense hatred and disgraceful demeanor for education compelled him to dwindle yearly allocation of the University to a mere 16million naira (even this has not been paid for quite a number of months).
This inglorious tradition of Underfunding has contributed immensely to the antiquated condition the University finds itself. Else, how does a University that is supposed to be 12 years, the first University of Education in Nigeria, second in Africa and eight in the world and yet cannot boast of modern and adequate learning facilities, decent hostels and other municipal services. It is a height of understatement to regard the laboratories and libraries as obsolete.
The consequence of this unfortunate trend of underfunding aside from the above stated disgusting scenario is inadequate payment of salaries/allowances of members of the University Staff Unions (ASUU, NASU, SSANU, and NAAT). The imposition of arbitrary tax on students is in addition to its illegality a deliberate ploy to exploit mass of students and their poor and unpaid/underpaid parents.
This reckless display of utter ineptitude by government has inevitably influenced the extortionist policies of the management of the institution. The astronomical school fees of TASUED, the increase in the charges of vocational studies (subsequently and fraudulently disguised as registration fee) from N1000 to N25, 000, the imposition of N20, 000 as penalty for late submission of clearance file and the despotic increment of acceptance fee from N30, 000 to N40, 000; are few of the many anti-poor/student policies incited by government unacceptable neglect of the
While reasserting our resolve to prosecute the February 6 mass action to press home our demands, we reiterate our demand for the immediate reversal of the above stated insensitive policies of the government and management as well as adequate funding of TASUED to the standard of a typical 21st century tertiary institution.
Tai Solarin Students’ Union.
The National Secretariat, National Universities Education Student
Alliance of Nigerian Students against Neoliberal Attacks (ANSA)
Abraham Adesanya Students’ Union, Students and Youth Activists Support initiative (SAYASI)