ASUU Strike: Students In Dilemma Over Accommodation Fees
Majority of students in dilemma over accommodation fees in various host communities of their institutions.
Their inability to afford full-time rent was attributed to the devastating coronavirus pandemic and the just suspended nine months strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
Correspondent, Emmanuel Chigbata who had a chat with some students of various institutions reports that they made some suggestions which might lessen their challenges.
It is no longer news that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic across the globe, halted plans and programmes set out by organizations and sectors to be achieved in the over-rated year 2020.
Universities, Polytechnics and College of Educations were not left out in the list of education sector whose plans and agenda were also affected by the devastating effects of COVID-19
Sequel to this, the second wave of COVID-19 erupted, to further dwindle the already distrupted academic sessions.
However, the Federal Government had ordered the reopening of schools across the federation on January 18, 2021 which was previously slated for January 4th, 2021.
Ahead of resumption of school as directed by the Federal Government, students expressed their dismay over landlords inability to reduce accommodation fees or reimbursing them since they had paid full rent without making enough use of the hostels they rented for the session.
They stated that paying for another year is a big blow to them since they still have other fees to pay in school, calling for negotiation.
According to a student of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Mr. Ugochukwu Okafor, students are in a very terrible situation caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, saying that it is heartbreaking that they paid their house rents but did not enjoy the service they paid for, urging the leadership of students’ unions and management to dialogue with landlords and reach a compromise.
A student from Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Mr .Jonah Aniah opined that it will be laudable if landlords would slash the house rent so that students can pay half of the year or on a monthly basis because the privious year was wasted .
Another student from University of Nigeria Nsukka, Miss Ozioma Chukwuajaero, ask landlords to put into consideration the negative effect of the ASUU strike and the COVID-19 explaining that so many parents are poor and may not afford large amount of fees for their children in school.
In the same vein, a 200- level student of Federal University of Technology Owerri, Kelechi Okafor, said though his property represented him last year, but his utmost concern was why his landlord increase this year’s rent from seventy thousand to ninety thousand naira.
Meanwhile, speaking with a landlord, Mr. Isaac Ifeakor, the essence of collecting another house rent from students was to improve their livelihood and train their children, since they have no other sources of income.
Another landlord, in Awka, Mr. Izuchukwu Okeke said that they were not the cause of COVID-19 or ASUU strike, and therefore his hostel is his private business and he would not joke with it.