By Our Reporter
As dateline for the payment of school fees as mandated by the management of the university of Calabar draws close, investigation by this paper has revealed that the rate of female prostitution among students of the university of Calabar has risen dramatically, just as their male counterparts have resorted to begging along major streets in Calabar.
Last year, the university announced a 60% increment in tuition fee and other charges including hostel accommodation fees despite the country’s harsh economy and economic hardship occasioned by covid-19.
The sharp rise has been heavily criticized by many but the university authority have continued to be adamant.
Monday, January 24th 2022 has been announced as the last day for fee payment, with a No fee, no exam policy in place.
But findings by this paper reveals that many female students of the university are already engaged in high level prostitution. One of the students who simply identified herself as Sandra told our reporter that since it is already too early on the year and her parents who are civil servants are yet to receive their salaries, she had to look for an easy way out
“ I know what it took me to get this admission, so I cannot risk it. This is not something I have done before. Infact, I could not believe that I would be doing this. But I have to, so I can graduate and take good care of my parents. My parents usually budget for the four of us. Mine was already planned and the money given to me. I cannot go back and tell them story because I know they will not have it. They are others for them to take care of. In as much as I do not like the fact that I am selling my body to pay my fees, at the same time, I have no option”
Along the governor’s office in Calabar, a few number of students could also be sighted soliciting for help. The university students who were majorly male, carried placards with inscriptions such as “ help me, I can not pay my fees, I am a Unical student” another written, “ assist me pay my fees so I don’t drop out”
One of them, Stephen (not real name) who spoke with our reporter said, “since morning, I have only made N5,000. I don’t know how I am going to raise the rest of the money, especially with the date almost drawing close”
Last year, while rumor was rife of the planned increase in school fees, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Mike Okom had debunked any increase by the University.
Prof. Okom, in a radio interview in Calabar said “Unical is one of the cheapest universities in the South-South. At the management level, we have not sat to review any increase in school fees.
“A few days ago, we had a meeting with stakeholders and officials of the Students Union Government and they debunked the false report being circulated by students that we have increased fees.
“As management, we will continue to do what is right for the good of the students.
“The University has not brought out any circular announcing fees increase and gate permit. People should desist from spreading fake rumours,”
But in a recent interview, the Vice chancellor, Prof. Florence Obi accused the students of going to school to take selfies instead of studying.
There have been calls on the Vice chancellor of the university to delay the fee increment, it is however, not clear if she will the authority will listen.