Against the backdrop of a soaring cost-of-living crisis in Nigeria, students at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) held another protest this week to demand the withdrawal of a major hike in mandatory fees for both new and already enrolled students in undergraduate courses.
Several public universities across Nigeria have increased fees by 100 percent to 300 percent. At UNILAG, it is even worse. While the charges vary across courses, students at UNILAG have alleged that the new rates would amount to a hike as high as over 600 percent at that specific university.
While previous tuition fees had ranged from around ?26,000 ($33.1) to ?76,000 ($96.8) per year, the new hikes would see the highest fees go up to ?240,250 ($306.2). For medical students, the fee was raised from ?19,000 ($24.2) to ?190,250 ($242.4).
On September 6, dozens of students held a protest outside the university campus amid a heavy deployment of police. The protesters were forcibly dispersed using tear gas. The action was organized by the Students’ Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike and supported by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
In a statement ahead of the protest, NANS stated that they had to hold the action after UNILAG authorities failed to abide by agreements that had been reached at a meeting held on August 2, including a commitment to withdraw the fee hikes.