document.documentElement.className = 'js'; From Our Archives 4: The Ban of Students Unionism in NDU on April 26th, 2018 : A & U Ng

It was the beginning of a new wave of uprising which coincided with non-academic staff protest and subsequently went wild into a government/community clash. Management have been somewhat strangulated, so to write, by shortage of funds occasioned by the subvention decrease by the then Governor Henry Seriake Dickson’s government and have sought for various ways to overcome the consequent challenges.

Knowing that increment in fees would be vehemently opposed by the students, management cunningly adjusted the school fees structure to its advantage. Management’s cunningness made arguments for and against the school fees being increased very correct at both sides. Hence, it was difficult to explain that the fees were increased and at the same time, difficult to accept that there were no increment because both explanation would end up being correct from different perspectives.

Management succeeded in confusing both parents and students as the students were unable to explain to their sponsors/parents where the increment came from. To some extent, some parents, already confused, even took sides with management to believe that the students were just being unruly.

What actually happened however, was that the school fees were increased in the future. It was more or less a future increment. Hence, it was difficult to explain in the present (then) how the fees were actually increased. That is why those who are currently supposed to pay N35,000 and N55,000 as shown in the bulletin of 2017/2018 shown below are now paying N80,000, N90,000, N100,000, N120,000, or as the case may be.

NDU students protesting and barricading the main campus gate

Despite management’s effort to calm the students’ community that there was no increment, the students, seeing the future (which is currently happening), stood their grounds, protested peacefully, blocked all school gates and demanded that the fees be reverted.

After a hectic battle between government, management and the students, the management, who earlier claimed there was no increment in the fees later reduced the school fees for 200 level by N30,000. Hence, students who paid N160,000 and its variant in 100 level, who were initially asked to pay the same N160,000 in 200 level then got a reduction of N30,000. This, means that those who paid N160,000 in 100 level are then to pay N130,000. Same thing goes to all other school fees variant of the same level. This is the current payment structure which the 200 level still pays.

The students were not happy with the reduction for only 200 level. They pressed on, demanding for the previous structure. Haven failed to control the students’ agitation through closure of the institution, management, left with no other option, resorted to ban students’ unionism and all its activities on and off campus. This made it illegal for any group of students to gather for any purpose especially for riot purpose.

NDU bulletin banning students unionism (Aprl 26th, 2018)

Academic activities was halted for 2 months (From April 18th, 2018 to June 18th, 2018). All the agitation of the students were fruitless as management and government maintained that the fees needed to remain to enable the school to survive.

Till date, what the public did not see then is now open. The school fees is now biting them hard. But unfortunately, they have realized a little too late. The fees have been grumblingly accepted till date. Final year, who in 2017/2018 paid N55,000 and N35,000 now pays a minimum of N90,000 and N80,000 as the smallest fees in the whole of NDU. Truly as I said, the fees increment were actually futuristic but not many saw it. Sammy’s intellect is not a joke.

NDU 2017/2018 showing that final students paid school fees as minimal as 35,000

But there is now a twist of event. The school fees is now biting harder than ever. Many parents are now unable to pay. More newly admitted students are now rejecting their admissions and placement figures are now declining. We anticipate that the university and the state government will revisit the school fees either now or in the future.