Students of the Ondo State University of Science and Technology (OSUSTECH) has locked down the university during a protest that has been ongoing since Monday this week. The students blames the state government for poor conditions of the institution.
The aggrieved students, numbering about 700 have been protesting since Monday, preventing workers from getting into the institution.
The protest, escalated on Tuesday as the students caused gridlock along Okitipupa/Igbokoda road, preventing human and vehicular movement.
A 200 leveled student, Omotola Benson, who spoke with The Nation at Okitipupa based the students grievances on exorbitant school fees, payment of ICT fees without the facilities, neglect of the University by the government and non-payment of the staff salary.
Benson explained that, “indigenes of the state who are students of the University pay N125,000 as schools fees, while non-indigenes pay N175,000. We are paying N20,000 without having access to internet in the school and our workers are being owned three months salary”.
Already, the National Association of Nigerian Students, Joint Campus Committee (NANS JCC) Ondo State axis led by its Chairman, Odunayo Kowe had last week written an appeal letter to the State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, shortly after visiting the institution.
A copy of the letter which was made available to The Nation reads, “We write, to express our grief, disappointment, and fear for our future as it bleaks owing to the deplorable negligent state, maltreatment and insecurity that encapsulates this pragmatic citadel of learning, and it is our fear that should we keep quiet, the future we anticipate may never come. During this visit, your Excellency, we were able to gather the following:
“That the members of staff of the institution have not received salary for three months now and that this has resulted in the lackadaisical attitude of the lecturers towards their work, thus impeding the reasons for Nigerian Students coming to school. This is quite appealing sir.
“That a whole University of Technology in the ‘best’ state in Nigeria cannot boast of a single motor able road since its inception, this is alarmingly sardonic sir! Report shows that the road has been neglected since the inception of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s administration in 2011.
“That if a nation cannot pass education on to its generation, it is quite evident that it will soon die a natural death. It is heart-seizing, your excellency, that in a state where school fees is expected to be subsidized, being an oil producing state in Nigeria, the students in such school where even the oil is being generated to feed the nation, pay N 125,000 and N 175,000 as school fees for indigene and non indigene respectively whereas in Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, AAUA, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, RUGIPO and other citadels of higher learning in the state pay less. Is this not a rape on our fundamental human right?
“That no fewer than 50 students complained about the service rendered at the Health Centre as being substandard and uncalled for. During our inspection, it was disheartening to see the Health Centre of a whole university in shambles and lack the requirements of a First Aid Box let alone that of a Health Centre. This calls for urgent attention.
“That the whole university is subjected to total darkness amidst substandard and dilapidated infrastructure in a thick forest-like environment where wild animals become the neighbors of dynamic Nigerian students. The Sports Complex is a similitude of game reserve, all these happening in a school where students pay sport fee yet denied access to it.
“We also gathered that the management has painstakingly resulted to fueling the school generator so as to power the university’s power plant since 2011. The hostel facility is another lugubrious issue to address. The hostel we met under construction in the school is a sample of hide-out for bandits, therefore does not worth housing the future leaders of this country.
“We want to say that such environment is prone to absorbing dangerous animals and men of the elusive world that could become a threat to the lives and properties of the students and the community at large.6. That the students are forced to pay N 20,000 for internet fee that they never had access to.
“They pay N3,500 for I.D Card that is even lower in quality than its N200 equivalent. All these and more among other exorbitant levies are imposed on the students which calls for urgent attention. Imagine a university where development levy is paid and yet could not be dignified as its name implies- ‘university’. Are we in a glorified secondary school”?
The students’ body urged the government to focus more on the institution by responding to the demands of the students.
However, it was learnt that Mimiko will be addressing the aggrieved students later in the evening at the school campus.
All efforts to speak with the State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Jide Adejuyigbe proved abortive as all phone lines were unavailable as at the time of filing this report.
But, a staff at the Ministry of Education who preferred anonymity said government was not neglecting the institution, saying the government is doing his best to ensure the university is put in the best shape.
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