UNILAG students protest high food prices, shut shops

by Rachel Ogbu

Protesting UNILAG students (Photo: Punch)
Protesting UNILAG students (Photo: Punch)

Students of the University of Lagos have protested for the third day against high food prices in the school.

On Tuesday, business owners were counting their losses as adamant student went on  to force shop owners in some of the school halls of residence and others within the school to close.

Report claim that the protest began on Sunday after one of the student leaders, Seun Lari-Williams who stayed in Mariere Hall refused to pay N110 for one pack of noodle and N10 for a sachet of water.

The food seller reportedly refused to reduce the price so Lari-Williams mobilised students in the hall to embark on a protest against unfair price of goods in the school.

A final year student of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Timothy Quadri, said, “The protest started on Sunday at Mariere Hall. It was the President of the Law Students Society, Seun Lari-Williams, who wanted to buy noodle (hungry man size), and he was told it was N110. But he disagreed with the lady at the counter, saying the price was N100 outside the campus. Later, he decided to get the N10 balance from his room.

“But by the time he returned, the lady had decided that she would not sell for him again, which started a quarrel.

“Angry Lari-Williams quickly summoned fellow students in the hall who came down to shut the shop and started a protest against unfair price of goods on the campus.”

Another student from the Department of Mass Communication, Adeola Scott, said the protest had been peaceful.

She said, “It has been peaceful. On Sunday, the students moved round Mariere and Jaja, and on Monday, they moved shut all the shops in Science, Engineering and New Hall. They were joined by the deputy dean of students’ affairs who monitored the students to ensure it was peaceful.”

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The Punch reports:

The Dean of Students Affairs, Prof. Olukayode Almond, was said to have ordered that all stalls and supermarkets be shut pending the time the crisis would be resolved.

Meetings were also held with the deputy Dean of Student Affairs and Head of Counselling Unit to end the protest and pacify the warring students.

However, a communiqué at the end of the meeting, obtained by our correspondent showed that students’ leaders, school management, and representatives of sellers of goods and services on the campus had agreed on prices for goods and services in UNILAG.

For instance, a small bottle of soft drink is to cost N50, while washing soap prices ranged from N50 to N120. Toothpastes are to be sold for between N100 and N200. Stationery will now go for minimum of N70 and maximum of N100. The particular noodles that caused the problem will be sold for N90.

The school said one spoon of rice would be sold for N40, while three spoons must not be more than N100.

 

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