Maintenance Culture: University of Ibadan Case Study

By Olajire Glorious

To preserve, or conserve something is to maintain.”

As humans, we understand that very trivial or superfluous things need maintenance — books, shelves, appliances… Just name it. You’d see that they need some form of care or attention at intermittent periods to prolong life and increase usefulness.

Every political system knows this, as it is made up of people capable of particular cognitive reasoning and mental abilities that had made them get a position in the first place. Please understand that I do not mean political offices alone. It is the personal assistants, Administrative assistants, Administrative coordinators, Secretaries, Receptionists, and accountants among others.

Even the self-employed or business owners as long as you live, breathe, and use, maintenance affects you. With various popular campaigns we know that even the earth needs maintenance, our ecosystem is in dire straits and is becoming particularly uncomfortable like a nail-laden chair. I can sit on it, but not have a good time.

The focus of this piece is however on the infrastructure at the University of Ibadan, a highly reputable citadel nationally and internationally that has continued to set paces through excellence and extraordinary potential. A full exposé could be written on what the University of Ibadan has done or what it has to offer, but the focus is on the use and maintenance of its infrastructure.

The last week of October 2021 started the tarring of the long-overdue University of Ibadan first gate road or Oduduwa road as some may call it.  This was a much-needed development as that road not only represents what the school is but is an unnecessary accomplice to the wearing and tearing of the vehicles of unsuspecting visitors and already burdened lecturers. Experts say thin overlays every 7-10 years extend the effectiveness of a road before major work is done. This was long overdue, but can we expect maintenance?

This is appreciated and our feet and cars do thank you, but can we talk of other roads like the second gate road? That road feels like going on a shaky rollercoaster that can fall off any minute. Oh, and the pedestrian should just stick to the sidewalks all over campus. You do not want to walk on it even if you stick to the edges.

Buildings, yes there are many of those in the community, and more are being built. Now, are the existing ones maintained? Faculties like the Faculty of Education with broken chairs and broken boards, The Social Sciences with that particularly shaky row of seats in the middle column, Science the CBN lecture theatre with unnecessarily noisy seats with a drowsy atmosphere, the unkept UISU SRC Chamber. On and on buildings in the faculty of Agric and veterinary medicine that need a touch of paint. 

The obligation is the next worry here. Whose duty is it to see these things done? The principal officers, in various positions? The student government? Parents? Alumni? 

Well, collective responsibility is the answer for me. Complaining and pointing out what might be wrong is the easiest thing to do, but when it comes to doing; getting up and taking action, there becomes a problem. But, only if you could, if I could just not litter, deface property, scrape on furniture, and treat appliances with care like they were ours, we become one step closer to a more outstanding University of Ibadan.

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