Education

UNIBEN reverses controversial N20,000 late payment levy, mute on other demands of students

The University of Benin, Edo State Friday reversed the controversial N20,000 late payment levy imposed on the students of the university by the school authority led by Prof. Lilian Salami

Recall the university erupted in crisis on Tuesday, clumnating on the seizure of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami by the angry students on Wednesday where they demanded among other things the reversal of the N20,000 late payment levy; the sack of the Public Relations Officer, Benedicta Ehanire and the sack of the Dean, Students Affairs, Prof. Patrick Igbinaduwa,
among others.

Briefing journalist at the university’s main campus, Ugbowo on Friday, the VC, Prof. Lilian Salami said the Senate after due consideration had decided to reverse the N20,000 late payment levy.

“On the 2nd of August, 2021 the University’s Senate agreed to increase the existing payment of late fee of N10,000 to N20,000.00 on all students, who passed due registration period, as another attempt to further encourage early registration among students. The good news is that we saw significant growth in early registrations – from last year’s rate of 35 per cent to 93 per cent. We have not seen this rate of early registration in decades. It is a UNIBEN record – without question. Kudos to those students, who chose to make their education a priority.

“In the same token, some students protested the imposition of the late fee and took to the streets to make their voices heard. Protests and freedom of speech are a critical part of a well-functioning society. I continue to be an advocate for creating an environment where all members of the UNIBEN community can have a voice.

“That said, while most protesting students acted peacefully, a few turned violent – endangering themselves, their fellow students and our staff (including myself). I am glad that the protest concluded with no one being hurt.

“As a result of the outcry from the students, the Senate reversed the decision to impose the late fee of N20,000. It is important to mention that this reversal in position will not break the University of Benin. I fundamentally believe that there are very few decisions that are irreversible and this is definitely not one of them. At this time, the N20,000 late fee is reversed and it is a closed case.”

However, the Vice Chancellor was silent on other demands made by the students, which included the sack of Ehanire and Prof. Patrick Igbinaduwa among others

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