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Undergraduates lament accommodation challenges in public varsities

By Nana-Aisha Sulaiman, Chiamaka Ukachukwu and Ngozi Adobi
21 November 2019   |   1:27 am
Undergraduates in the country’s higher institutions have decried the deplorable state of hostels provided for them by their various institutions, saying a lot of Nigerian students are living in a pitiable condition.

Undergraduates in the country’s higher institutions have decried the deplorable state of hostels provided for them by their various institutions, saying a lot of Nigerian students are living in a pitiable condition.

Their complaint does not only bother on the sizes of the rooms, but also the poor facilities and lack of basic infrastructure needed for a comfortable home. Also the capacity and unhealthy state of the facility is appalling, and this, to a large extent have left them with no choice than to rent apartments outside the school’s premises.

Till date, many public universities have not been able to provide conducive apartments befitting of a 21st century institutions. Some of the features of a 21st century hostel, include standard and well-ventilated rooms, uninterrupted power supply, potable water, kitchens and well-constructed lavatories.

But that is not so in many higher institutions in the country, as students always lament the inhabitable nature of their hostels.Eunice Usenbor, a student of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), says their school’s hostels are in a horrible state. “Not only that the rooms are too small to accommodate four persons, they are infested by insects. The rooms have not been fumigated and we have to live with bedbugs. The condition of the toilets and bathrooms with the leakages here and there, makes bathing less hygienic,” she said.

More so, Usenbor was aggrieved over the fact that the lawns are not mowed on a regular basis and soon becomes as tall as trees and may be breeding predators that will wreck more havoc if not attended to. Some other students have lamented that they have been forced to cook in their rooms because kitchens were not built in the hostels and this pollutes the atmosphere of the slightly aerated room.

From Kwara State Polytechnic (KP), Israel Owolabi, said: “the hostels have been abandoned by students over the years, owing to its derelict nature. The hostel has gone beyond renovation, as the structure is already weak and weedy. At the moment, none of the students are living on campus as a result.”

He added that the situation has forced many of the students to live outside the campus and this certainly has adverse effect on learning including the stress, which cannot be quantified.Also from Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia state, a student who pleaded anonymity cried that they are no longer safe in their school hostels owing to burglars attacks.

“There are gates which are left open most times under the watch of security guards, yet our hostels are burgled. Our rooms, bathrooms and toilets are flooded during rainy seasons. Despite its horrible state, the fees are also exorbitant, even more than privately owned hostels.

While some students are lamenting over the poor condition of their schools’ hostels, others complain of the inability of their schools authority to put a structure on ground.Alatise Morenikeji, a student from Gateway Polytechnic, Igbesa, Ogun State, said their school management has refused to build hostels for students, as all the students live outside the school. “Worse is they are not making any effort to build accommodations for us, there is no sign that it will be anytime soon.”

For Edema Samuel, a student from Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ife, “There are only two hostels for boys. I am in one of the hostels, and this is the fifth year of my stay in the school, and we have never had water supply in the hostel. The deplorable state of the hostels could make it pass for a slum,” he decried.But the story is not same for all the students, as a student from Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, who pleaded anonymity, said their school management is committed to ensuring that the welfare of students.

“Our living condition here is favourable, the school authorities are committed to providing our basic needs, including security for all students living within the school premises,” he added.Also from the University of Ilorin, Kwara state, Chisom Precious, their hostels are in good conditions as each room has four persons as occupants. To this end, the students appealed to university managers across the country to devise ways of ensuring good living condition of students in their various schools, since it is only a healthy mind that can conceive and attain greatness.

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