Students of the Benue State School of Nursing and Midwifery have protested non payment of their N3,000 monthly clinical allowances and undue increases in their tuition, among other sundry challenges.
They made their feelings known to newsmen who had visited the schools in Makurdi on Friday, to get first-hand information about the situation.
All the students that spoke to newsmen craved anonymity for fear of victimisation.
“Our clinical allowances of N3,000 monthly have not been paid for over six years now. Our fees have been increased from N50,000 to N80,000, without officially informing us.
“We are surprised at how the state Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the school authority, will be compelling us to pay the amount before we sit our examinations when they did not give us prior notice about the increase,” they alleged.
They maintained that they got to know about the increase when they wanted to pay their tuitions and the accountant told them to pay an additional N30,000.
Newsmen report that the school environment was very unhygienic to the extent that even toilet facilities were lacking. The students stressed that the situation compelled them to defecate in nearby bushes.
Similarly, they lamented that the schools lacked water, alleging that the authorities had turned deaf ears to their complaints, even when they were reminded time and again.
Newsmen gathered that the schools had since been closed indefinitely following the protests.
When contacted, the Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr. Joseph Ngbea, frowned at the protest by the students, stating that it was an embarrassment to government and the ministry.
Ngbea said that his office had no knowledge of any increase in the school fees, assuring that the students’ grievances would be looked into.
He lamented that he had a meeting with the students on campus on Monday, but they could not clearly articulate their grievances, and that in the meantime, the students would be made to sign an undertaking before the schools could be reopened.