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UI College of Medicine students in sit-out protest against fees increment

Over one hundred students of the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan on Sunday assembled at the second gate of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, the Oyo State capital to protest the increment of Professional Training and accommodation fees by the Senate of the institution.

The students, who sat by the side of the hospital second gate, along Secretariat Road, Ibadan, were all clad in their white laboratory coats, with their luggage, mats and other belongings to press home their demands.

The university management in its swift reaction to forestall any outbreak of law and order, however, on Saturday announced the immediate closure of the Medical Students hall of residence.

But the students in a two-page leaflet titled “The university’s argument and rebuttals, Our arguments”, disclosed that the institution on April 3, 2018, proposed a health training levy of N100,000 per student, increased the accommodation fee from N14,000 to N40,000, thus making an average student of the medical school to be paying around N185,000 per session as against less than N50,000 they paid last year.

They described the increment as one that has no justification, saying “the levy is illegal, and in contradiction with the Federal Government’s policy.”

The students noted that the institution’s management failed to take the current economy situation in the country into consideration before coming up with a figure which many parents would find difficult to pay.

The students argued that if the new rate as being proposed by the institution’s management is effected, some medical discipline would require over N337,150 per session, a figure they claimed was high for an average student attending a public university in the country.

The students also alleged that the Provost of the College, Professor Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa insulted them.

The students said, “The levy has no justification or acceptable explanation; the levy is illegal, and in contradiction with the Federal Government’s policy which set a N45,000 fees for all federal universities; the university administrators cannot provide proof that students were consulted before this levy was decided upon and this is not in compliance with section seven of the University Act of 2003; many students cannot afford the levy, considering the current economic condition.

“One out of every three students said they will consider dropping out of school in an opinion poll conducted independently; none of the 17 federal medical schools in Nigeria pay as high as this levy.

“If we pay this levy, Ibadan medical school will be the most expensive Federal Medical school in the country, paying about twice more than the average fee in other schools.”

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