A peaceful student protest against a recent tuition fee hike at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) ended in chaos when armed police officers fired tear gas into the crowd.
The protest, which began with around 40 participants, aimed to express opposition to the fee increase and featured placards with slogans like “fees must fall” and “education not a privilege.”
Balewa university faces backlash over 800% fee hike
The students’ demonstration was in response to UNILAG’s decision to raise its tuition fees, a move that sparked similar actions in other federal universities across Nigeria, including the University of Benin and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University.
Many returning students faced an abrupt 800% increase in fees. While the university administration claimed that the fee hike was necessary due to mounting financial challenges, students argued that the move would make education inaccessible to those from low-income backgrounds.
UNILAG’s vice-chancellor, Folasade Ogunsola, revealed the institution’s substantial administrative debt, explaining that costs like electricity bills, personnel expenses, and maintenance far exceeded government funding.
UNILAG has offered palliatives to indigent students, such as instalment payment options and work-study programs, but many students remain distrustful of these measures.
They believe the criteria for determining who qualifies as indigent are unclear.
The federal government established a student loan fund to be financed by a percentage of revenue from various agencies, but the stringent requirements for eligibility have raised concerns among students.