UNIBEN had earlier announced that students who did not pay school fees within the stipulated time would have to pay extra charges and might have their studentship withdrawn.
Hence, the students on Tuesday protested against the N20,000 hike in their tuition.
The students, who alleged that the institution’s spokesman told them to go into prostitution to pay their fees, gathered at the school main gate on Tuesday, carrying placards with different inscriptions, such as ‘Madam VC wants to milk us dry’, ‘Salami wants us to do cash out’, ‘UNIBEN VC Salami is after my sanity as a student, and many more.
In a video obtained by SaharaReporters, students were seen in their hundreds at the school’s main gate, with someone saying, “UNIBEN students, we are under pressure, Aunty Lilian, please pity us.”
In a recent development, the Vice-Chancellor, Lilian Salami, has agreed to remove the N20,000 late payment charge, a source told SaharaReporters.
The source also said there are plans in place to remove the Dean of Student Affairs and Public Relations Officer of the institution.
He said: “After the students forced the VC out, she made the following agreement: Total removal of the N20,000 late payment charge. Setting plans in place to remove the Dean of Students and PRO. No student will be victimised and students can remain in their hostels, water and light will be restored.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin announced the immediate closure of the University following the protest.
In a statement issued by the Registrar of the institution on Wednesday, Ademola Bobola, Salami ordered all students to vacate their hostels and the University premises no later than noon on Wednesday.
“The Vice-Chancellor has reviewed the agitation by a section of the students’ body on Tuesday. After due consultation and in the overall interest of the general students’ body, the Vice-Chancellor has, on behalf of the Senate, approved the closure of the University with immediate effect.
“This is based on security reports to avoid the students’ action being hijacked by hoodlums, and thereby prevent any form of breakdown of law and order within and outside the campuses of the University,” the statement read.
According to a source, from an initial N14,000 tuition, the school management increased school fees for the 2017/2018 academic session to N41,400.
The university management led by the Vice-Chancellor, Salami, increased tuition from N41,400 to N45,000 at the resumption of the ongoing academic session.
However less than a month later, tuition was again hiked with an increment of N20,000, bringing the school fees to N65,000.
The freshers are asked to pay N90,000, a sum considered to be outrageous by the students