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UNIBEN students protest power outage, high costs



UNIBEN students protest power outage, high costs

Students at the University of Benin (UNIBEN) staged a protest on Wednesday morning, voicing frustration over a prolonged power outage that has persisted since May.

The outage has severely impacted campus life, making it difficult for students to attend night tutorials, charge gadgets, and access water in the hostels.

According to an anonymous source, the prolonged outage is partly due to the suspension of the Student Union Government (SUG) on April 29, following an incident involving students and Olumide Akpata, the Edo State Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate. The absence of the SUG has left students without representation to advocate for their needs.

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“It’s been over a month since the power supply company disconnected the electricity, and UNIBEN has not done anything to restore it. Students are suffering, especially on campus,” said the source.

UNIBEN students also protested the high costs of food and transportation, adding to their grievances. Another student noted that the power outage has lasted nearly two months, with the school citing unaffordable electricity bills as the reason for the delay in resolving the issue.

“The school says the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) increased the bill from N8 million to over N260 million without notice. They claim it’s too much to pay,” said the student.

In response to the protest, the UNIBEN Senate held an emergency meeting, where it warned that the school could be shut down if the protest continued. Benedicta Ehanire, the school’s public relations officer, stated that the students’ demand for a 24-hour power supply, which they previously enjoyed, was unrealistic given the current circumstances.

“The Senate also described the complaints about high costs of food and transportation as beyond the University’s control,” read the statement. “If dialogue with the students fails and the protest persists, the Senate will have no option but to shut down the institution.”

The ongoing power outage and lack of effective communication from the school management have led to significant disruptions in students’ academic and daily lives, with many expressing concerns about the potential negative impact on their grades.

Lawrence Agbo, a tech journalist for over four years, excels in crafting SEO-driven content that boosts business success. He also serves as an AI tutor, sharing his knowledge to educate others. His work has been cited on Wikipedia and various online media platforms.