By Peace Chenube, Heritage Kehinde, Ayomide Ogunseye and Blessing Owen
The Dean of Environmental Sciences at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Modupe Omirin, has admonished students to take better care of the facilities provided by the university.
She stressed that the majority of the students have a nonchalant attitude towards the properties provided by the university. She then urged students to take better care of these facilities and living spaces, as it would save the university the cost of repairing the damaged properties and enable them to put the money to good use in other areas.
Professor Omirin also advised that “Students’ unions can carry the issue forward to agencies, investors, and companies that are in the position to come and assist the university” to help improve and develop more facilities, such as hostels and lecture halls.
Accommodation has been a perpetual problem for students and staff of UNILAG. The total number of bed spaces in school-owned hostels is far from the number of students and staff. This issue presents a very challenging situation year in and year out for the university community, and the university is trying to address this problem but has not found lasting solutions.
Concerning the persisting accommodation problem on campus, the Prof. suggested that the university adopt a model where the management staff of the university negotiates with the owners of private accommodations within the vicinity of the school to let out their houses or hostels for the university to oversee the collection of rents when due. She also suggested that the university admits fewer students for the time being, as “we have just over 6,000-bed spaces and over 35,000 students”.
During a visit to the Faculty in February, UNILAG’s VC, Professor Folasade Ogunsola, tasked Omirin to give cost-effective solutions to address the infrastructural deficit challenges in the university.
In response, the Professor stated that the faculty has suggested solutions that have already been taken to the university management and various agencies. Some of the agencies are the Lagos Urban Renewal Agency (LASURA) and the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA).
She then threw a challenge to students to do research and come up with ideas and solutions to address the problem of infrastructure deficits in the university.
Professor Omirin also hinted at the possibility of a new faculty emerging from the Faculty of Environmental Science.