Dickson Okafor Chief Johny Ucheaga is a lawyer and he is the Secretary, Nigerian Police Equipment Foundation. As a political associate of former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme who passed on recently, the Uturu, Abia State born politician in this interview gives an insight into how Ekwueme became a running mate to former President, Alhaji…
I gained admission into the University of Port Harcourt in 2013 where I have been doing reasonably well but that is about to be cut short because I am from a family with low income, not at all ‘church
rat’ but we are doing quite well to an extent, living in Ajegunle. At least not in a face-me-i-kick-you-one-room kind of compound.
I always saw going to the university as a way to cut the poverty line but I am confused as a drunk because I don’t understand this whole system of education in Nigeria as the Federal government-owed institutions, which I thought was for the average Nigerian is not helping us in anyway as our future is dwindling with no hope of it being rescued.
I am on the verge of repeating an academic year or even dropping out as the threat increases daily. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt has since the matriculation of 2016/2017 freshmen, which held on April 20, 2017 refused to open the school fees portal. Student who could not pay before the deadline have to repeat or drop out while ignoring the current economic crisis of the country. The school officially resumed on February 1, 2017 and closed its portal in
April of the same year leaving just two months for fees to be paid. I am from a family of five and three of us are in the university while I am the only male so it is assumed that I have learnt to survive without money for a long time since my sisters are to be sent money first before me to ensure they do not engage in absurd vices for money. I got my school fees late as usual after the matriculation and then found out I could not pay in the designated bank as they said the school had closed its portal weeks before I came.
We proceeded like that to the first semester exams where we (that have not paid the school fees) were given a different hall and constantly humiliated, threatened and psychologically thrown off balance (by our so-called lecturers who were supposed to be mentors) that questions which were normal, appeared as though it was for PhD students. So one cannot be poor and have a decent education in our country again?
Though there was an option of half payment but where do I get N24,000 out of the supposed N45,000) full payment?
Please, I just want you to help me feature this on your column so the government and well-meaning Nigerians can feel our pain through this forum and appeal to Vice Chancellor to please forgive us for being poor and open the portal so we can pay and continue our studies like Rivers State University of Science and Technology who still opened their school fee portal in the second semester as there was a recent protest but yielded no fruits as our pleas fell on deaf ears.
► Worried Student, wrote from the University of Port Harcourt