Nigerian varsities: Saddled with ageing infrastructure
by SAMUEL AWOYINFA (Lagos), MIKE ODIEGWU (Yenagoa), AKINWALE ABOLUWADE (Ibadan), MUDIAGA AFFE (Calabar), FEMI MAKINDE (Ekiti), SUCCESS NWOGU (Ilorin), and JAMES AZANIA (Edo)
Except for the new ones, the average public university in Nigeria is at least three decades old. Unlike old wines that mature with age, however, facilities in these tertiary institutions seem to age as the year passes, with many vice-chancellors promising to upgrade them. From our investigations, many of the universities lack basic infrastructure like regular water supply, sufficient accommodation, well-equipped libraries or functional rest rooms in the halls of residence or in lecture arenas. The story is the same all over, as reported bySAMUEL AWOYINFA (Lagos), MIKE ODIEGWU (Yenagoa), AKINWALE ABOLUWADE (Ibadan), MUDIAGA AFFE (Calabar), FEMI MAKINDE (Ekiti), SUCCESS NWOGU (Ilorin), and JAMES AZANIA (Edo).
The Lagos State University, Ojo, established by the Governor Lateef Jakande administration in 1983, has its own fair share of infrastructure challenges. Though it operates a multi-campus system, its main campus in Ojo has not experienced so much transformation since it was founded 29 years ago. It is still largely an off-campus university because the majority of the students either live in adjoining settlements like Iba, Okokomaiko, Volkswagen, Igando, among others; or come from far flung areas like Victoria Island, Ikoyi, Ikeja, Ogba, etc.
It has other campuses in Epe, Ikorodu Road; and another one housed at Progress College, Abule Egba, among others.
Until the management of the Zenith Bank Plc built an ICT Centre in the institution, the university has only one central library, which could not be classified as an E-Library. Admitting this, the school’s Acting Director of Information, Press and Public Relations, Dr. Sola Fosudo said the ICT Centre built by the bank had become a centre of attraction for students who go there to browse, do their assignments and carry out research via the Internet.
Again, the only department that could be said to be working towards having its own library is the Faculty of Law, housed in a new two-storey building.
Dearth of infrastructural facilities and decay of same where available, are noticeable in almost all the faculties. At the Faculty of Arts, the toilets that serve the students are in bad shape, as many do not have running water. The water closets in one of the toilets built on the open field very close to the L and H lecture rooms have darkened with use, while some of the lids are in various states of disrepair.
Out of the four toilets in this bungalow, three have no doors. And since water does not flow, a big plastic bowl is placed under a tap, which runs in epileptic mode, from which users could draw water for personal cleaning up and flushing.