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BREAKING: UNIBEN Shuts Down Academic Activities Indefinitely

THE authorities of the University of Benin have shut down academic activities at the institution indefinitely.  The decision was announced on Thursday, July 4, 2024.

The university, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Dr. Benedicta Ehanire, attributed the decision to the refusal of the students to shift grounds on their demands.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the students on Wednesday took to the streets, blocking the ever-busy Benin-Ore Highway, to protest weeks of power outages on campus.

The students, who had two weeks until their first semester examination, said the situation was severely affecting their preparation.

The students also called for a downward review of transport fares by the UNIBEN shuttle service, which was increased with effect from July 1.

NAN reports that the university was thrown into a blackout by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) following the inability to reach agreement over contentious electricity billings.

The monthly bill was said to have jumped from about N80 million to between N200 and N280 million, forcing the university to resort to power generators as well as rationalizing power on the two campuses and hostels.

When a NAN correspondent spoke with the protesting students amidst heavy rainfall, they were hellbent on continuing the rampage unless their demands were met.

But in the notice of closure made available to NAN, Ehanire described the students’ demand for a 24-hour  supply of electricity as unrealistic.

“Following the insistence of students at the University of Benin to shift grounds on their demands for a 24-hour supply of electricity and more, considered unrealistic by the university’s Senate, the university has shut down academic activities indefinitely.

“Students are to vacate the hostels immediately, while all the relevant units of the university are to take note and comply.

“However, non teaching staff and staff on essential duties are not affected by the shutdown,” said the university’s spokesperson

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