Some students of the University of Port Harcourt, River state have protested against the closure of the school fees payment portal by the University management.
An eyewitness account by Adeyemi Ademola stated that the students were seen chanting protest songs peacefully along NTA Mgboba axis of Rivers State imploring the school authority to re-open the portal to enable them to pay their school fees.
A student of the school simply identified as Sarbie who spoke to Pulse said the protest was a peaceful protest to implore the school management.
Sarbie said, ‘the students protest is not a violent one. In fact, it was just an awareness to plead with the school management. So they went to NTA, AIT and the Government House in Port Harcourt to beg the government. So during the course of the protest yesterday, I heard the Senate had a meeting to deliberate on the issue at hand. Right now we don’t know the outcome of the meeting”
Tracing the genesis of the issue, Sarbie said the issue that led to the protest was due to the inability of some students to pay their school fees at the stipulated time.
“Some students have not been able to pay their school fees. What they actually did last semester was that if you can’t pay the full school fees, you can pay half. Some students who were not able to pay last semester paid half of their school fees while some paid everything and some did not pay at all.
“So they opened the opened the portal again this semester, some students felt that since the portal is open those that were unable to pay last semester would be able to pay the complete school fees this semester, but they later found out that it was not possible as the portal is only open for half school fees such that those who paid 25k last semester would complete the remaining payment this semester. So it is not possible for them to pay the full payment now.
Now, the school management has closed the portal and they are advising the affected students to defer one-year session and stay at home because they would not have any result that is why right now there is a delay in the first-semester result.”
The student added that the Student Union Government is not really doing anything to help their colleagues because the union and other departmental associations have been rendered incapacitated due to a violent protest they championed last year.
“Due to what happened last year when we had a protest over the new school fees, a student died and the school was shot for two months. When we came back, we filled a form and paid a damage fee of N5000 because some students damaged school properties during the protests.
Since then, the SUG has not really been functional because those in charge of last year’s protest were first expelled and when they pleaded with the senate they turned it to a suspension for one year, and after that, they dissolved the SUG and departmental presidents.
Right now it is much like we don’t have an SUG because the ones we have IS very dormant due to what happened last year.”
The students have registered their displeasure with the management’s decision and at the time of filing this report, there has not been any official statement form the school management.