Authorities of the Niger Delta University (NDU), in Bayelsa have ordered for the immediate and indefinite closure of the institution due to the protests that have rocked the campus over the past few days.
The protests started, following the decision to increase tuition fees and the closure of the portal for school fees which will automatically make students who failed to register for the previous academic session repeat their level of study.
The students also kicked against the directive of the university management for them to wear mandatory uniforms and that the unit price of the uniforms which ranges from 30,000 to 40,000 naira, must be purchased from the school and not anywhere else.
As a result of the protest, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo on Wednesday, July 7, ordered the closure of the school, as a measure to keep the situation under control.
In a statement signed by the registrar, the VC ordered all students to vacate the school premises by 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
He said this was to curb the excesses demonstrated by students and return calm to the institution pending when the issues will be resolved.
Meanwhile the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Idoni Ingezi said the closure of the school fees portal was long overdue according to the Senate regulations which is also enshrined in the students handbook.
He said all students are expected to pay their school fees and register their courses two weeks into a new session, adding that some of the misconceptions about the decisions of the institution are caused by students who refused to read the handbook and be abreast of the school’s regulations.
Ingezi said a grace period of additional two weeks was given to students who failed to register which is regarded as late registration as a result, fresh students were made to pay an additional two thousand naira, while returning students paid four thousand naira.
The NDU Spokesman added that the management also extended the grace period for the payment of school fees to several months and expressed dismay over the protests.
He said: “The rule is very specific that if you have not paid your fees and registered your courses it means you are not a bonafide student of the university.
“This issue started from the 2018/2019 session when the portal was closed, the students agitated, they petitioned to House of Assembly and the VC was invited, and the principal officers of the institution and they clarified issues with the students.
“The House of Assembly petitioned for an extension by one month which was granted, saying the portal was left open till the 2019/2020 academic session and was just recently closed”, he stated.
He said the school had pleaded with them to register their courses even if they were yet to pay their school fees, in order to have documentation about them, but some students have failed to do so.