By Titilayo Akinaso, Daramola Eniola, Famokunwa Timilehin and Chiamaka Ikeh
The new school of postgraduate studies office complex is on hold, no thanks to poor funding.
Professor Alabi Soneye explained this when asked why the SPGS doesn’t have its building after years. “Every hand is on deck, the central issue is funding, and it’s also a function of the approval process”, he said.
The SPGS, which was formerly housed in the Senate Building, needed to move out as it grew and needed a bigger space. But money seemed to be the major factor hindering this dream. “The best idea was to get a building, but the cost, especially in this past decade, was four times more than what other universities used to build theirs”, the Dean remarked.
The Dean added that the cost even increased considering the nature of the land UNILAG is situated on. “First of all, you have to get an excellent foundation and in our marshland, we don’t have space. So the cost was there”, he explicated.
Soneye also noted the problem of inflation in the economy and paucity of funds from the government and the school which accounted for why the building hasn’t been erected.
To fast-track the project, the professor of geography explained that in about 2016/2017, the PG board decided to set aside about 10 percent of the gross income from the school fees for the project. “And we have done that for about five sessions just enough to lay the foundation.”, he remarked.
The Dean added, ‘for nearly ten years now, we have been looking for sponsors’, while noting that some of those sponsors don’t usually stick to their words at the end of the day.
But the Dean is optimistic that the dream would not be abandoned. ‘Nobody is giving up, we are still moving on’, he concluded.