By: Peculiar Chinomnso-Okolie
The Dean of Students Affairs of University of Lagos, Prof. Ademola Adeleke, on 20th May, 2021, informed the students of the new development that would be surfacing in the students hostels as they resume. The DSA, in his memo, highlighted the increasing electricity bill that has resulted in the scheduling of power usage in all hostels. Apparently, the NERC has put an outrageous electricity bill on the University, and so the University is choosing to reduce the cost by scheduling the power availability in the hostels to the early hours of the morning and night time, when the students would be in the hostels.
Just recently, the students have been asked to resume physically to the school hostels. With the knowledge of the COVID 19 spread in Lagos, the school has put in place the recommended precautions to make the school environment safer for the students. Some of these precautions are the compulsory use of nose masks anywhere in the school environment, no residential permit without at least 20 nose mask and a 500ml hand sanitiser and virtual classes for any class with more than 50 students. The school also, without hesitation, presented an indemnity form to students where they(the students) are to indemnify the university from the consequences that may result in their being infected (or infecting others) of the virus.
One week after resumption, the DSA solicits for the students understanding in his memo. He writes, “the revised electricity tariffs as approved by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has put an electricity cost burden on the University that is overwhelming and unsustainable. The University electricity bill increased by 50% in the first quarter to an average of N80 million per month and by April when students returned to residence it increased to N181million, an increase of about 120%. This is self-evidently unsustainable, necessitating the institution of painful measures to keep the University operational. Management has in consequence instituted a power shedding arrangement in the hostels as follows. Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm. There will be power and WiFi in the Faculties and Libraries during the day. Please bear with us and thank you for your understanding.”
Students are now left with the option of going to their faculties during the day to have access to electricity and wifi connection. The concern of most students is the inconvenience this would bring to them. However, they can only understand the situation at hand.