A member of the Niger State House of Assembly representing Agwara constituency, Ahmed Bello has joined students of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, who were protesting against tuition hike.
The students who protested at the Assembly's complex hindered some members and workers of the Assembly from entering the premises.
Bello presented the demands of the protesting students to the Deputy Speaker of the House, Jibrin Ndagi, The PUNCH reports.
The students, however, vowed not to vacate the Assembly premises unless their demand for a reduction in tuition is addressed.
Bello said, “I decided to join the students in solidarity because, as a postgraduate student of the institution, I feel the impact of the tuition hike and, like a true comrade, decided to join the peaceful protest.”
He urged the lawmakers in the state to intervene, adding that the school management, student union government, and the state government should be summoned to a roundtable for an amicable resolution of the issue.
“As the representative of the people, the Assembly is in a better position to take a decisive action on the lingering school fee hike crisis threatening the peaceful academic environment of IBBU,” he added.
Representatives of the National Association of Nigerian Students, Ishaq Madaki and Abdulsalam Abdulganiu, had earlier urged the Assembly to prevail on the state government to direct the university management to reduce the fees if they cannot return to the old rate.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Ndagi had assured the students that the lawmakers would look into their demands to address the issues.
The state government had waded into the matter by announcing a reduction of the fees payable by returning indigenous students to N50,000, as against N67,929.
New students who are indigenes are to pay N95,675, as against the initial N129,675 proposed by the university management.
Similarly, non-indigenes that are returning students are now to pay N100,000, as against the N117,325 announced by the school; while new students who are non-indigenes are to pay N170,000, as against the N201,217 proposed by the university management.
However, a press release dated August 20, 2021, and signed by Markus David Sonoma, the Chief Press Secretary to IBBU Student Union Government President, Mohammed Jibrin, insisted on total and absolute reversal of the tuition.