The Patriot Institute of Journalism and Arts (PIJA), Lance Magazine is a public-centric independent media organisation dedicated to fighting injustice, fostering social justice and community development through the telling and retelling of the marginalised-oriented stories.
Why Nigeria’s Tertiary Institutions Halls of Residence Dangerous For Your Children
The PIJALance received hundreds of complaints on the state of dereliction classrooms and halls of residence provided for students in Nigerian tertiary institutions. PIJAlance Campus Information Desk (CID), head; Jerome Kalu, deployed reporters to different institutions and found that all claims are true, though, there are some others now sniffing rehabilitations.
The PIJALance received hundreds of complaints on the state of dereliction classrooms and halls of residence provided for students in Nigerian tertiary institutions. PIJAlance Campus Information Desk’s (CID), head; Jerome Kalu, deployed reporters to different institutions and found that all claims are true, though, there are some others now sniffing rehabilitations.
If there is anything incumbent to the Nigeria’s tertiary institutions, after a possible academic strike, comes poor learning and edifices alien to all-singing or heritage-listed buildings.
In 2013, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) students said prisons are better than their hostels. Years passed, OAU unveiled plans to renovate hostels. But, in Sahara reporters report of 2019, OAU management said it is not their duty to do so. Two years later, a yoga queen and 200-level student of the institution died in a septic tank. It was in one hostel obtained outside the school premises, after that of the school failed.
The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and the University of Ibadan (UI) students among others face similar ordeals, while Polytechnics too, remain tied in the dragging feet or ramshackle trajectory of conducive environments for learning development.
It is not today, students from several universities have expressed displeasure over the whacking state of their hostels. It is not also today, the school management and the government gyrate along the wave of taciturnity while leaving the construction of buildings to alumni Associations or what have you. OAU has about three buildings, currently renovated by alumni, PIJAlance learnt.
Our CID in University of Nigeria, Nsukka, (UNN) learnt students’ hostels have been left in utter attrition so that rooms’ power supply and water supply days of glory have taken lots of wear and tear.
Amid all these, in UNN, there are lords that make getting a hostel room worse than it seems, unnamed student told our CID Team.
The experience is sour with the fellow students yet, the school management playing as an invisible man in the whole process, High-class student of UNN, Joy Ahanna (not real name) confirmed. In the end, the pawning innocent students suffer.
But this is nothing compared to the unbelievable story that enfolds after.
Different But Same Students
The Bonafide is a slang commonly used for students who pay for Hostel accommodation, while their opposite is the squatter. The squatters usually find their ways to hostel rooms, through leasing from the bonafide, PIJAlance learnt.
The bonafide leasing prices can range from N100k, N150k to N200k, a year when the initial hostel prices go for N20,000 to N30,000 in the school. “some bonafide students; being the main owner of the room space, sell their bed space for a huge amount to another student described as squatters who automatically becomes the main owner of the room space, and use the money gotten to get a lodge outside the Campus”, Ahanna told our correspondent.
But what everyone would ask is how such a dubious black-market business deal is being carried out within the school premises, on top of schools’ properties without their consent?
“The name of the real owner of the bed space would be changed to the person it is being sold to,” Ahanna, continued, “as well as the picture on the docket, to legalize the occupier as the owner. This is to make them scale through at the portal inspection unit.”
UNN management had pleaded ignorance.
Stinking And Striking Experiences of Students
For OAU students, bedbugs torture them all nights and days in their hostel rooms. But for, UNN, the whole Campus usually stinks with flies buzzing and feasting around as a result of squalid toilets, bathroom and waste. But those are not all.
“Students walk miles, far from their hostels to get water. They go as far as a place called ‘Construction Site’, which is very close to where Lecturer’s Staff Quarters are located, to enable them wash their clothes and other needful”, Ahanna stated.
“The toilet and bathroom are also terrible because students, especially the females, contract Toilet Diseases from there. It is so bad that excreta could be leaking out from the latrine, flooding the whole bathroom floor, which by the sights, makes other students unable to take a bath. And the worse is that, the cleaners who were employed to make things easy are still making it worse because they don’t bother to clean the toilets due to the fact that they were not being paid regularly; not just the toilets and bathroom, but the whole Campus would begin to stink, due to the dirty water, causing flies”.
Some hostels are widowed of basic social amenities and yet are friends of power supply, unlike others. One of the hostels, is Nkrumah hall of residence. “In the hostel, most times, a particular part of the building would have power supply while another part of the hostel will not, whereas it’s still the same hostel. No fans, no socket, no good walls, bad cupboards, bad window, which we have to repair ourselves, in the hostels, even as either a bonafide or a squatter. ”
Some halls of residence are also built with wood, and students are still accommodated in all of them.
“Another hostel in the school is built with wood, which is like another section of the school due to the wooden demarcation, which made rats invade the environment due to lack of fumigation, as well as grass loitering around the school environment. For this reason, snakes found their way into the hostels which exposed most students to danger as they cried for help, seeing snakes around their bathrooms and toilets. The scary situation made students unable to defecate properly but alternatively defecate in a small container, then dispose it anyhow in the toilet, afterwords, wash it and keep it for use for another day, which is unhygienic, especially as a female; it exposes us to several infections”, she lamented.
In 2022, a snake was found in the female’s hall of residence, PIJAlance learnt in OAU.
In UNN, a four-student room is occupied with 10 students. Chinaza noted that they are five in her room. “students can’t do anything but manage; we need a roof on our head, at least somewhere to stay while schooling”, Joy said.
In Yaba College of Technology, Yaba students have similar ordeals. While some students cry of want of school-provided halls of residence, hundreds of others are congested in hostel rooms. In a 700-hundred expectedly capacitated Akata Hall of residence for females, 2000 students are occupying it, a porter told PIJAlance.
At the main campus of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) in Agbani, TheCable in its 2022 report discovered a ‘defecation room’ inside a male hostel called Noca Hall, while visitors to the hostels at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) are immediately greeted by a stench oozing from poorly-managed garbage and unwashed toilets. Trash was seen littering the corridors while most of the toilets were clogged.
The Kaduna Polytechnic, Federal Polytechnic of Ado-Ekiti, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Bayero University, Kano (BUK), the University of Calabar (UNICAL) and the University of Benin (UNIBEN) may not have much in common — but when it comes to unsanitary toilets, the similarities abound.
In some hostels in Malabo Hall, UNICAL, toilets were filled to the brim with a combination of dirty water, urine and unflushed faeces, while in UNIBEN, the stench from an abandoned toilet is a constant source of disturbance for students who attend lectures nearby.
Although the toilets in Imo State University (IMSU) hostels are relatively neat, during classes, many students conduct their business in the bush and uncompleted buildings around the lecture halls due to the absence of public toilets.
Meanwhile, UniAbuja female students who are unable to use the toilets in their hostels often resort to using adult potties to pass waste.
OAU has lately embarked on renovating some lecture theaters, but most of the renovations are done by the school Alumni association, not the school, Pathfinder Emmanuel noted.
“In fact the new face in which they have come out with is top-notch. Remember I said some and not all, and from what I heard with the stories being published on the renovation it was said that it was done by some Alumni association of the school, that’s just by the way.”
“In the case of our hostels, when I was in part one then in 2019, my hostel then, (Angola) was renovated along side with the Mozambique hostel which are mostly occupied by the Part 1 Students, it was renovated by the Alumni association of the hostel because they came and we even held a meeting then because I was part of the room representative then. As at (of) then one of the hostels was also under renovation I can’t remember the name for now but it has been completed too. But the other 5 and bigger hostels that we have are still in their old state and it’s not pleasing enough.”