CASE STUDY: BELLO HALL

-By: Uche Daniel

A common Scottish proverb says There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept”. But anyone could argue to the fact that since we are not Scots, the saying isn’t applicable to us. Now coming to our indigenous land is an African proverb that goes thus “Food gained through fraud tastes sweet in the mouth, but later starts to feel like gravel in the mouth”. Perhaps, this is a way of making the food being chewed by our beloved authorities feel like gravel.

The changes which includes constant water, provision of few bunks and replacement of broken windows, that has spur up so far in Sultan Bello hall are considered as minor changes compared to more of the things which should have been accomplished but are yet to be done. It is a known phenomena that solving a problem halfway doesn’t eliminate that problem at all, as the positive change that students expected to see are yet to be effected, and so the difficulties that were been faced by students before the hike in accommodation are still in view.

It has been a while the University of Ibadan resumed for a new session which began with fresh students, and as at now the semester is almost gone with the scent of examination everywhere, but nothing of significant important can be pointed to as at now to have been done in the hall. A session which controversially began with over 100% hike in the accommodation fee of students; this increase was defended by the school authorities while explaining that some things needs to be done and implemented in the halls to make it a living environment for students. Of notable instances is the fumigation of the rooms, which was due to bedbugs infestation, electricity, water issue and lot more. One must not but wonder why after the increase in fees, one’s mattress left in a room in the hall during the break was met the same way with bedbugs still on it, even to the extent of the mattress being disposed. Now there are two things to it, it is either that no fumigation was performed at all, or an incomplete fumigation process was done.

Speaking on incompetence, the time spent is more than enough for all changes to have been implemented in the hall of residence, and the hike didn’t just affect the fresh students, but also affected every students residing in the halls of residence in the University environment. Bunks were provided in Sultan Bello hall for the fresh student alone, and the bunks were not even enough to be shared to all. Students keep wondering why the change the school management so much speaks of is yet to come, and left with obvious mind if the management really meant what they said and will fulfill what they promised or we are just being deceived. If the management really has such thought, then, the hall can be renovated massively within the days that has been spent so far and with the over 100% increase in fees.

The walls still leak in various blocks when it rains as the buildings are old and needs to be renovated. If proper action isn’t taken on time, perhaps it is only a matter of time till the buildings falls apart. The ground fall in E-block is usually a “no go area” during raining season as a result of minor flooding. Also, the fence behind B-block which was partially broken, but now replaced with zinc isn’t properly fixed and has remain in the same state even after resumption.

Almost all the locks of some doors in some blocks that were changed recently are bad and had been considered by resident in the hall as fake locks.  Students now sponsor their own ways of getting their doors locked because of the quality of time spent by the authorities to address the issues of the hall. One would feel that students shouldn’t have to face much trouble in Sultan Bello hall because the current Vice Chancellor, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, is an alumnus of the hall, but it is almost entirely a complete contrast to what one thinks and to the state of the hall.

The toilets are nothing to write home about, and this often lead most resident of the hall leaving their various blocks to use the “also manageable toilet” in the middle floor of the finalists block which clearly isn’t even in the best of states.

 

Damaged doors on some of the toilet doors

The top floor in B-block has remained in the same state before and after resumption. The bathrooms also are still in the same state; broken pipes are everywhere which often leads to them being unusable and usually abandoned. No one would want to be taking his bath and have dirty water pour all over him from someone else taking a shower in the top floor.

The drainage system is so bad and has been rendered unusable; It causes an irritatingly poor smell in the bathrooms, It can also be attributed to the cause of minor flooding in the toilet, notably on the topmost floor in E-block and the ground floor in C-block where dirty water flow out of the toilet, and sometimes into the box room beside it making it almost inhabitable.

It is of note that in times past, the use of hot plates in the halls of residence was banned, but the school authorities have sat back concerning the aspect of kitchen socket. If reason for the prohibition of hot plates was because of the amount of energy consumption of the hot plates compared to the amount being paid as accommodation fees, now that the fee is hiked, the sockets in the kitchenettes are still very much in poor state.

While residents of the hall of residence are feeling cheated and regretful because of the increase, and that there seem to be no major changes done as promised in the hall. The school management should in all ways make the hall not just a living one, but one that student will be comfortable with. This is like an arrow with two edges; the students and the management. The students having done their part of paying such fee should enjoy what is needed of them, and the management in all capacity should do the needful as promised.

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