According to a report by SaharaReporters, some graduating students of the Alvan Ikoku College of Education affiliated with the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) have lamented the high rate of extortion by the college.
One of the students who spoke with SaharaReporters said graduating students of the 2019 set have yet to be mobilised for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps programme but have almost been milked dry by the college ahead of their convocation.
According to him, the school had asked that the students pay a fee of N20,000 for the convocation kit which has been paid by some of the students.
He said that is not all, the school recently released another notice urging students to pay a convocation fee of N5,000, for the same event.
He stated that there have been several payments made to the school regarding clearance for the graduating students but that the management of the school has not made any conscious effort to get the University of Nigeria to mobilise the students for the NYSC scheme.
He said, “We graduated in 2019 and they have been giving us an excuse that the COVID-19 pandemic stopped them from sending us for the NYSC scheme.
“Meanwhile, we contacted UNN, we are affiliates to UNN. We studied for a degree and we'd graduate with a UNN certificate. We have been writing to our school to remind them to send us to NYSC.
“The last time we went there was in July and they told us they would release our names for mobilisation for service but they later released 'Error List' (for correction of details).
“Since that time till now, we haven't heard anything from them. It was supposed to take at least three weeks.
“They told us they will send the list back to UNN on Monday, the following week, but rather the list is still in our school here in Alvan Ikoku till date.
“The next thing we saw is that they asked us to pay another N5, 000 for the convocation and we have already paid N20, 000 for the convocation kit. They just want to extort us. That is why we are calling for help from any angle we can get help from.
“The N20, 000 we paid earlier, what was it for? This N5, 000 they are asking us to pay now, what is it for? We cannot just keep paying for what we don't know its purpose.
”We made several payments for clearance. We paid for the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. They normally do that for schools that have education programmes.
"We have spent more than N50,000 for this clearance alone. For each payment, we generate 'Remita' at N500 each, we pay for bank commission. As students, we had to pay all these fees at the school's microfinance bank, you can't pay it elsewhere.
"Bank commission is N500 each for these fees. Even if you're paying N1,000, you'd pay N500 for commission.
“On the list, they included Golden Jubilee, 50th anniversary of Alvan Ikoku which they have done several years ago. The school is busy taking from us continuously while what they are supposed to do, reaching out to UNN to get us on the Senate list has not been done.
“We want to know what the N20, 000 we paid for earlier was meant for and why this new N5,000 is under the same name: Convocation kit?"
Remita is a payment solution used by government agencies and parastatals, that helps individuals and businesses make and receive payments, pay bills and manage finances across multiple banks.
Another student said, ”Our school, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri is extorting us seriously. Below is the evidence of money we have paid and they are asking us to pay more.
“The convocation kit we have paid N20,000 for before, they are asking us to pay another N5,000 for it.
“Please we need help and also let them send us for the compulsory one-year NYSC. We have graduated since 2019 and some graduated in 2018 and now they just graduated the 2020 set without any plan for them. We have found it difficult to do meaningful things with our lives, we are just stagnant.
“We cannot work, we cannot further our studies because of the delay.
”These are the payments we have made so far: Accreditation: N3,000; Alumni: N2,000; Convocation: N20,000; Golden Jubilee: N1,000; NYSC Screening Fee: N2,000; TRCN registration fee: N6,000; TRCN Induction fee: N5, 000; TRCN exam fee: N3, 500 and many others.
“Above listed are what we paid for clearance before this new N5,000 for convocation kit came up. We need answers."