Students of the Ibrahim Babangida University, Lapai, have expressed fears over an impending epidemic due to the deplorable conditions of their hotels and the school environment.
A weeklong investigation by Northern City News revealed that students’ accommodation, just like the teaching and learning environment, fell short of minimum standards.
For instance, overcrowding has become the norm in the hostels. In the male hostels, the space meant for six students now accommodate up to 42 persons in most instances.
A 100-level student of the Department of Physics, Yusuf Mohammed, told Northern City News that he was forced to seek accommodation outside the campus, because the hostels were unfit for human habitation.
“I cannot cope with the environment. I decided to rent a one-bedroom apartment at the cost of N150,000 for one year to enable me settle down and face my studies,” Mohammed said.
He explained that the landlords in Lapai, the host community, were uncooperative as they had taken advantage of the situation to increase rents on their property.
Speaking in a similar vein, a female student of the Department of Engineering, Mary Agwu, said the condition of the female hostels was worse than what was obtained in the male hostels.
Agwu stated that apart from broken doors and windows, which remained unrepaired, the toilet facilities were so bad that students were visiting hospital regularly to treat toilet-related infection.
She expressed concern that the university management was not taking the matter seriously, adding that promises to build new hostels over time had not been fulfilled.
When contacted, the Head of the Information Unit of the university, Alhaji Baba Akote, said the management was aware of some of the challenges and was doing everything possible to address the issues.
He said efforts were being made to provide additional hostel blocks to accommodate more students.
Akote explained that the state government, through the Niger State Development Company, was currently building over 20 blocks of student housing on the campus to reduce students’ suffering.
“Students’ accommodation is a serious challenge to this institution and the management is working on a public-private partnership arrangement as part of the permanent solutions to the problem,” he stated.