April 20, 2024

Unilagsun

Serving the university community

DSA Addresses Issues Affecting School Hostels

By Blessing Famose, Morayo Koku, Victor Chijioke, Jake Hamilton, and Melissa Oligbo

In an exclusive interview with Unilag Sun reporters, Professor Musa Obalola, the Dean of Student Affairs, spoke on the critical concerns impacting the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Among the highlighted topics were the recent tuition fee adjustments, persistent student housing challenges, and the prevalent trend of students squatting in hostels. 

Professor Obalola defended the recent increase in obligatory charges and school fees, stating the rapid hike in the cost of living and the need to maintain quality education at the University of Lagos as the basis for the necessary hike. 

In his words, “Whenever you want something good, you must also understand that you have to pay for it. Yes, the argument is that education is a public good and that the government must fund education… But if the government is not forthcoming, must we now fold our hands and not do anything and watch? No.”

With a population of over 30,000 students and 8,000-bed spaces, Professor Obalola acknowledged that UNILAG is faced with accommodation challenges, attributing some of the causes to the combination of two admission cycles due to the continuous strikes and the COVID-19 pandemic. He advised students to make accommodation arrangements upon gaining admission. 

He said, “Now, for two years that we have had a peculiar situation due to the strike and COVID-19, instead of losing out on the session completely, we have decided to combine two admissions, …when you are coming to any university once you are given admission the next thing you should ask yourself is where am I going to stay? And I want to believe that everybody is aware that the University of Lagos does not have sufficient bed space to go around everybody, so they need to make that provision.”

While maintaining that squatting “…has been happening, and we have been turning blind eyes,”

 The Dean expressed his dissatisfaction with squatting in UNILAG as he revealed the ridiculously high amount squatters pay to get into the hostels. He mentioned the need for students to work with the university authority to get rid of squatting. “If we can work with the university, we will be able to get rid of this,” he said.

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