The postgraduate students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has taken to protest as authorities of the institution have slapped a more than 500 per cent increase in the cost of bed space and caution fees on the students.
The students, who are obviously not pleased with this development are now demanding a reversal of the hike and the refund of the backlog of caution fee.
Students affected include residents of Henry Carr and Erastus Akingbola halls.
According to reports, the notice of the increment was communicated in a letter signed by the Dean, Students Affairs Division, Professor Ademola Adeleke, announcing an increase from N11,000 to N70,000 for bed spaces at the Henry Carr Hall and to N120,000 for Erastus Akingbola.
Caution fee was also increased from N3,500 to N25,000, while students expected to resume for the new session at the newly-opened Sodeinde Postgraduate Wing are also expected to pay N120,000 for accommodation per session.
According to Adeleke, the increment takes effect from the 2016/2017 session.
In the letter, Adeleke said, “The cost per bed space is N70,000. This means that for Henry Carr, rooms with a single occupant will attract N70,000 X 2, which is N140,000. Caution fee is N25,000.’’
However, the students have decried the increment. One of them, who stays at the Erastus Akingbola Hall, said it was unfair for the school management to review the cost of accommodation upward for students who were not expected to hold paid jobs.
The student, who did not want to be identified for fear of victimisation, said, “ For us here, we are now expected to pay N184,000 for a bed space and anyone who wants to pay for two-bed spaces is expected to pay N265,000. For Henry Carr, the cost of a room inclusive of bed space, caution and maintenance fees was initially N58,000 for a session for PhD students. That included bed space cost, caution fee and maintenance fee.
“But now, the amount has been jerked up to N165,000. That is over 600 per cent increase for an eight-by-eight cubicle. That is ridiculous compared to the N15,000 members of staff of the university pay for a three-bedroom flat with a boys quarters of two rooms.’’
In a letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Rahman Bello, the students claimed that efforts to resolve the issue with Adeleke, as well as the Dean of Postgraduate School, Professor Solomon Akinboye, had not been successful.