The cost of living in Otuoke is too exorbitant
It’s a shame that despite the huge money we are paying as school fees across all level in this FEDERAL institution, there are no adequate hostels for the students. Imagine when the hostel is made available for only 100l students (and it’s still not even enough for all of them) and after your 100l, you are forced to go off campus to search for accommodation.
This has given the landlords in the community the opportunity to exploit we, the students. In an environment where nothing happens when students are away, everything happening and making the place lively is carried out by students, we are paying a whooping sum of 60-80,000 for house rents for a room, a SINGLE ROOM with the toilet outside and shared with other tenants while those in self contains are charged from 90-170,000. In most cases, these houses are up to standard in the case of room size/space, basic amenities like water and light and yet, no body of saying anything about it.
The issue of light bill is another issue on its own. Student living in one room pay 500-1,000 and self-contain 1,000 – 1,500 Naira per month in Otuoke and Otuaba community for electricity bills when the usage is rarely up to 8 hours a day for 7 days. Students run their homes on generators and business owners as well. The worst of it all is that nobody is doing anything about all these issues.
Comr. Millow came into power with the promise of doing something about this during his campaign period, only for him to assume power and he is now among those moving from house to house, compelling student to pay their electricity dues or risk being disconnected and so it continued till he left office and he didn’t do anything neither was there any improvement in the house rent. If you move to other communities hosting higher institutions across Nigeria, you’ll discover that the house rents are a bit fair compared to what we are experiencing in Otuoke.
The Student Union elections will be coming up soon, I want to advise us to be wise in choosing who will represent us, those who will go to any length to see that our plights are eased, who will not back out when confronted and challenged by the forces that be. Currently, the student union executives of FUTMINNA have taken it upon themselves to make sure that the house rent in the hostels and host community is reduced and also ordered all students not to pay their house rents until the landlords agree to their terms. The issue moved from landlords to the community leaders and not to the state government. Those are people who know what it means to be student union leaders, no what we’ve been seeing in otuoke so far.
The cost of living in Otuoke, Bayelsa state is too expensive and just like the former first lady said during her last birthday celebration and I quote, “There is no Otuoke without Federal University Otuoke students” but yet, the people of this land has failed to realize that, they feel it is their opportunity to milk the students because it is widely assumed that STUDENTS ARE RICH.
The price of a single room is higher than the cost of even a science student’s fee for a session. Even the transportation scheme and transport fare is another issue for another day.
We are calling on tour student union executives, the community leaders, house of reps and representative members, the commissioner of education/ministry of education, the commissioner for transportation and the ministry of transportation, the state and federal governments and all other well-meaning Nigerians to please come to our aid, the cost of living in Otuoke is higher than the cost of attending school.
By: Royal Stranger