Over 450% increase in fee...
The last few days have been an emotional one for students in public schools in Nigeria. Though the new development was expected since the last Strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) it was still saddening.
There’s no better way to explain the situation of things for students in federal universities in Nigeria than using my case as an example: I got admitted into the University to study Quantity Surveying in the year 2017 and according to the Calendar the program is expected to end by 2022 (5 years), Covid 19 outbreak and the constant strike by Asuu has been a stumbling block and we will be resuming year 5 (final year) in October 2023 with the hope of graduating in 2024. Two years after more than the initial date.
Over the years Asuu's plea for payments due to them has fallen on deaf ears. The best way to fight this in most countries is to make threats of strike (threaten the government with a strike), but in a country like Nigeria, threats can't do anything, even the strike itself yields nothing. The association goes on strike but it brings no positive results from the government, instead, they get more promises.
The current economic situation in the country, the impact of fuel subsidy removal, high power tariffs, and many more have led to the increase of fees in school and my school's case a 460% increase.
As with Petrol subsidy removal, for things to get better, we need to make some sacrifices. The country is in debt but we keep hiding behind the “We’ve got Natural resources, we are rich”. It’s about time to accept reality and realize that this country is poor. Every government will promise to fulfill Asuu’s request when campaigning but when they get into power they realize how tough it is.
We live in a country where the citizens vandalize the Refinery we have and we have to transport our crude oil abroad to be refined and then buy back, we abandon our old ways- farming is no longer seen as an economic tool despite the fertile land we have. Nigeria can't afford free education. It's the truth. Even big European countries don't do that. We can't continue with free education if we don't want to strike.
All these would have been avoided if our leaders (past and present) made/make good use of our resources when it was still relevant. When the money was available a past government decided to double the salaries of all workers, another decided to host a festival, another says he’s giving out palliatives to the poor, instead of investing in the nation, building infrastructures, engaging in human capital development so our best brains won’t be leaving the country every year with no plan to come back… maybe if these were done, today's problem would have been avoided.
Long story short if you noticed the soil where you build your house isn't good and uneven settlement happens afterward best thing to do is to shore it up and correct it. If you just patch or pour a few grouts of cement at the base, someday you will have to demolish the whole building
The best thing to do to avoid another strike is to increase the fee but how will students who find it hard to pay N20,000 - N30,000 (approx $25 - $38) be able to pay N150,000 - N200,000 (approx $188 - $250)?. Though, we knew an increase was imminent, no one was expecting it to be this much.
When two elephants fight the grass they say “suffers the impact”. This new development might lead to many students dropping out of school, even those in their finals. When we look at the other fees (hostel fee, dept, and fac dues, utility bill, etc) some students will need at least $500 to cover all these expenses.
How do we get this money? If one is financially buoyant one won’t be going to these schools in the first place. Private universities are there with lesser stress, no strike issue but expensive bills. The combined monthly salary of some households is less than $100. How will they pay the fees of their wards in schools? Those with 2 to 3 children in institutions at the same time might have to ask one or two to stop.
Schools will resume back in September/October and students are expected to pay the fees before the deadline. Personally, I have 2 months to gather at least $600 since I’m in my finals and it comes with many dues and responsibilities. The time is ticking for everyone and I’m afraid many might fall on the way.
Coupled with that of my sibling, it's going to be a long month.
I hope and pray everyone gets help one way or the other and my little advice is for everyone to work hard in the next 1 or 2 months, to gather such a huge amount of money within a short period will be hard but may God help us all.
I’m open to writing jobs or competitions, I’m also a Quantity surveyor. I help in providing bill of quantities for construction projects, give consultancy advice, and can act as a project manager. In fact, I’m open to any Job, remote jobs, or physical jobs here in Nigeria.
Thanks in Advance! 💚💚💚