UNIPORT Students on Rampage over Increase in Fees


Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Students of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) on Monday morning went on rampage, destroying buildings and setting up barricades along the East-west Road and adjoining roads in protest against the increase in school fees by the authorities of the institution.

The protest, which started before 6am, caused heavy traffic gridlock on the East-west Road and disrupted activities at the motor parks around Choba Junction of the highway.

Economic activities around the adjoining communities were also put on hold as the students smashed windows and door glasses of buildings, forcing traders to scamper to safety.

The students carried placards with inscriptions: “Stop exploiting students”, “Prof. Ndowa Lale (Vice Chancellor) must go; “N45,000 tuition fees: highest among federal-owned universities”, among others.

The students, THISDAY gathered, later stormed the Abuja Campus of the university where they destroyed some buildings and other school property.

Scores of regular and anti-riot policemen however watched as the students carried out their protest.

The students said they were protesting against a directive of the university authorities that any student who had not paid the increased school fees of N45,000 as at April 4 would not be allowed to write the examinations and also stands dismissed.

THISDAY gathered that UNIPORT management, in 2015, adopted a policy which made tuition fee a prerequisite for student’s participation in examination, a policy which compelled defaulting students to repeat a whole academic session.

The protesting students demanded the withdrawal of the policy, which they argued, was unfair to poor students.