Some students of University of Benin (UNIBEN) living outside its main Campuses have lamented the N30,000 electricity levy imposed on them by an estate agent who lives outside Edo State, after a prolonged hibernation that erased the memories of some undergraduates.
It was learnt that the electricity accumulated to N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) after public Universities in Nigeria were shutdown over the indefinite strike that was declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in February this year.
One of affected female students living in Crown Heights Hostel, opposite Ekosodin Primary School, near Ugbowo Campus, described the levy as outrageous and unreasonable in view of the persistent pressure on students.
The student who identified herself Sandra said the twin Hostel had been deserted since the strike began, but, she received a Whatsapp from the agent, requesting her to pay her N30,000 bill while she was at home.
“Can you imagine. ASUU is on strike, yet somebody is asking us to come and pay N30,000 for electricity that I did not consume. We are not even certain whether the school will resume soon”, the student lament.
The student revealed that her attention was drawn to the previous electricity bill running into hundreds of Naira shortly after she packed into her Hostel months ago, but, she was helpless haven paid her rent into a designated Bank Account.
According to her, “it was impossible to demand for refund hence there was no accommodation on UNIBEN Campus. So, I accepted my fate”.
Another UNIBEN student who lives in another Hostel outside Ugbowo Campus, said he received a similar message, but he chose to ignore the request to pay his electricity bill, which he did not use.
He said efforts to get the phone number of the owner of his Hostel to plead with him do show understanding, were rebuffed by the Caretaker of the Hostel who said it will be unreasonable to grant the request by the aggrieved students.
A top Management staff of the University, lamented the situation, but insisted that the University would have intervened if it happened on Campus.
This is a developing story…
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