The renovation of the halls of residence at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, has begun, CAMPUS REPORTER can confirm.
This development began a month after PREMIUM TIMES exclusively reported the university’s plan to renovate the dilapidated hostels and also decongest them.
The full extent of the renovation is unknown yet, but our correspondent who visited the university on Thursday reported sighting artisans tiling and re-plastering the floors and walls of lavatories at various different halls.
One of the contractors at Adekunle Fajuyi Hall who simply identified himself as Tunji said that the university had asked them to fast track and finish their work before the resumption of students.
“We took the measurements before the school went on break and we have been contacted to come get the buildings renovated,” he said.
The university, established in 1962 as the University of Ife, has nine halls of residence, mostly dilapidated due to years of negligence and unsustainable pressure, having had to accommodate far more students than their original capacity.
For instance, shared six-bed rooms at most of the blocks of the Awolowo Hall have an average of 10 students each, exerting pressure on the facilities.
In recent years, OAU has become an object of ridicule after pictures of its filthy and dilapidated residential facilities, including lavatories and rooms were released on social media by aggrieved students.
On decongestion, the Dean of Students Affairs, Isiaka Aransi said, “rooms for 4 students will now be occupied by 4 students so as to improve the welfare condition of the students which is the university’s priority. We enjoin our students not to be careless to the extent of burning their rooms. It happened in Moremi, Fajuyi, and Awolowo hall.
“Squatters will not be allowed and If anyone is caught, both the original owner of the space and the squatter will be dealt with. Those buying and selling bed-spaces should also stop because if caught, they will be properly dealt with.”
Also, the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Eyitope Ogunbodede, said last Saturday that: “We have decided to decongest the hostels. It is not our joy to see 14 students in a room meant for 4 students. We are parents and that’s why we want a conducive environment for the students.”
Although OAU students resident on campus are invoiced N2590 for accommodation per annum, the VC said only N90 is charged for tenancy and N2500 is for maintenance.
Students of Obafemi Awolowo University, said the entire buildings on OAU campus are expected to be renovated.
Funsho Adeyemo, a 300 level student of English said: “it is important for the management to know that it not only our hostels that are pathetic. There is a need for repainting of classrooms and tiling of rooms too.”
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