Who you should blame for hike in varsities’ school fees – Prof Voncir

Nanmwa Voncir, a lecturer at Bauchi’s Abbakar Tafawa Balewa University, has lambasted student union representatives in the country for failing to stop the increase in public university school tuition.

The former ASUU Chairman ATBU and Bauchi Zone Zonal Coordinator also slammed the federal government’s assertion that there was no money to pay education.

According to News24 Nigeria, the majority of students from low-income families are at risk of dropping out of school as a result of the recent rise in school fees by managements of public colleges.

Voncir, who spoke at ASUU’s scholarship distribution to 19 undergraduates in Bauchi Zone on Saturday, stated that student representatives in the country, such as the Nigerian Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), lack the courage to stop injustices against students.

He asked NANS and other student organizations in the country to work with ASUU to ensure that universities are adequately supported and that policies that harm students are avoided.

He claimed that the students’ representatives’ compromise attitude led to the federal government and tertiary institution administrators instituting anti-student practices.

According to the researcher, the federal government frequently exploits the weaknesses of student representatives and, when it comes to subsidizing education, frequently makes excuses while spending billions on politics and other frivolities.

“How can you say that there is no money to fund education yet you have money for the gullible activities of our leaders?” he asked.

“Recently they are buying cars for members of the National Assembly at N160 million per person.

“Somebody stole money in this country, we were able to raise alarm only on N109 billion and they say the man is asking for plea bargain.

“Plea bargain means that you give part of the money to government and hold part of it.

“And the man has been given a chieftaincy title. That is our country. And nobody talks.”

He expressed disappointment that the leaderships of students bodies have sold out in the struggles hence the recent arbitrarily increase in school fees of universities a across the country.

Voncir recalled that in 2021, ATBU wanted to increase charges or school fees but ASUU as usual opposed the idea while the leadership of the students union shamelessly supported the move.

“I was asked by ASUU Chairman ATBU branch to represent the Union in a committee by the University management.

“At the inauguration I told the Vice Chancellor that forever ASUU will never stand by any increase in school fees if your aim is to increase.

“The Vice Chancellor said the fees may even be reviewed downward that was why the committee was set up.

“When we started the student president that was inside that committee said let’s increase this school fees but let’s give the students time.

“I called him an idiot. The President of the student Union of the school. I, a professor standing here saying I oppose increase in school fees and you a student standing here and saying you want increase but should be given time?

“I expected him to say students will not take any increase in school fees and sit down. That is the kind of leadership that we we have in the various campuses as students’ union representatives.

“Student unions do elections with guns. You go to NANS conventions and you see guns everywhere as if we have war situation.

“That is what Nigeria students are.

“In this school (ATBU) in 1984 and till 1990 when I graduated, students were the ones leading.

” For any day in ATBU that there was no electricity, we proclaimed that there would be no test the following day for anybody.

” Students go to class and any lecturer that set test students would not write the test.

“If there is no water then we are not going to class. Today there is no water you see students carrying water roaming around the streams, wells to find water.

“You want ASUU to come and fight that there should be water for you? You want ASUU to come and fught that there should be light? Nigerian students wake up Parents wake up”, he said.

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