The University of Lagos, Akoka, has debunked a message, which alleged that its hostel fees were increased astronomically.
Recently, there were protests by UNILAG students against the increment of its obligatory fees, and the school management complained that it could no longer operate with the old fees due to harsh economic realities and lack of funding by the government.
The message, sent to The PUNCH and written by a parent who does not want to be mentioned read, “UNILAG fee for accommodation in Sodeinde Hall, a four-man room is N160,000 per person.
“This l find very ridiculous, paying over half a million naira for a four-man room in a government institution. It is not a private hostel. The hostel was renovated by TETFUND.
Please help me out on this by letting the public know the kind of pain UNILAG is inflicting on parents. How can I pay N160k for a hostel and pay almost double of same amount for indigent students? Everybody is indigent in Nigeria; we are just managing.”
However, the Dean of Student Affairs, UNILAG, Prof. Musa Obalola, explained that the alleged Sodeinde Hostel was not renovated by TETfund but by the university from NEEDS Assessment fund, adding that the price was N135,000 and not N160,000 as as quoted by the parent.
He also revealed that the hostel was a special hostel for students who needed privacy due to health challenges and was not usually open for balloting.
Obalola said that the school had a cheaper hostel of N43,000 per bed space, saying parents should pick such a hostel which their financial capacity could afford.
“The price of the said hostel, Sodeinde Hostel is N135,000 and not N160,000. The price we are charging cannot maintain all these hostels because we keep replacing and repairing furniture, clearing sewage, etc., almost on a daily basis. The prices sent out in that message are all rumours,” he said.
He also added that the inflated prices could also be from some students and others who were doing business with the hostel fee. He, however, revealed that he had not given out any space in the Sodeinde hall to anyone.
“Some students are doing business with the hostels; they are making money from it. You will find out that a four-man hostel will have about 16 people living in it, and they will overcharge for it. And Sodeinde has limited bed spaces. It is for students with health challenges or some scholars and as I am speaking with you, we have not allocated a single space to anyone