Some students of the Taraba State University (TSU), Jalingo, have decried the prevailing scarcity of hostel accommodation on the campus of the institution.
The students,who stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Jalingo on Thursday,described the number of hostels on the university’s campus as grossly inadequate.
One of them, Mr Alex Tijos, a student in the Department of Mathematics, told NAN that the situation had become worrisome to those of them that preferred to stay on campus.
Tijos complained that he had not stayed in the hostel since his admission into the university due to inadequate number of bed space.
According to him, the situation is so bad that some students of the school are staying in thatched houses around the university’s environment.
Mr Ezekiel Terna, a final year student in the Zoology Department of the institution, said that bulk of the students of the university were left at the mercy of individuals who built houses close to the campus for renting.
Terna said that the landlords had taken advantage of the situation to exploit the students as they constantly increased the charges.
He stated that an average single room (self-contained) cost between N80,000 and N100,000 per annum, which the student described as prohibitive.
Another student,Ms Jessica Yakubu of the Department of English Language, appealed to corporate organisations to invest massively in accommodation business within the campus as a way of addressing the problem.
Yakubu said this would be a good venture in view of the growing students’ population and increased demand for hostel accommodation.
She said corporate organisations should be building houses for students accommodation, “instead of investing in hotel business.”
Commenting, Mr Sanusi Sa’ad, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University, said that the the problem of inadequate provision of hostels was not peculiar to the institution.
Sa’ad said that the institution was facing other infrastructure challenges as well, adding that funding was the main problem of every tertiary institution in the country.
He also noted that the entire education sector was faced with the challenge of under funding, urging private individuals as well as corporate organisations to partner with universities in the provision of hostels and other infrastructure in tertiary institutions.
He,however, commended the TETFUND for its intervention,especially in addressing infrastructure deficit in the TSU in particular and the tertiary education in general.
The PRO also stressed the need for the government to allow private individuals and corporate organisations to invest in hostel accommodation business both within and outside the campus to ameliorate the challenge of inadequate student’s accommodation.
Our correspondent who visited the university’s campus observed that few hostels were available for students, mostly old ones inherited from the then Taraba State College of Education Jalingo.
The cost of a hostel bed space is N13,500 per session on the campus. (NAN)