By Tare Youdeowei & Elizabeth Uwandu
Undergraduates on Nigerian campuses have decried the recession in the country, adding that since the commencement of inflation, the cost of living on campus have skyrocketed beyond proportion. According to them, the austerity measure has brought about a decline in the students’ standard of living across the nationfs campuses.
The students who groan under the prevailing high cost of food stuffs on campuses, said that the economic hardship has brought about adjustments in their feeding lifestyle. Vanguard Learning investigations revealed that while some students reduce the portion of their three square meal, many could not boast of eating twice a day.
They added that the development has brought distractions to them, as they could no longer have full concentrations during lectures as a result of hunger. As a result of hunger, the sports men and women among them are now less active on campus to save some energy, just as the night clubbers are go less and the all night readers are sleeping more.
In his reaction, Eghosa Ahgo, a student of University of Benin, UNIBEN said the recession has caused the cost of a plate of food to double. He said: “A bowl of beans and bread, as well as a plate of soup with Eba used to sell for N150 and N200 respectively before, now they cost N350 and N400. We have now resulted to a meal a day barely suffices to attend classes and read after classes.
On her part, Favour Nwosu from Imo State University said that a plate of food is N250 in the school canteen and off campus. She said: gEven though they have not yet increased the cost, the quantity has reduced drastically. The rice is now half of what it used to be and the meat is slightly bigger than a seasoning cube, am not exaggerating! I havenft bothered to cook because the prices of things are expensive; a rubber of rice now goes for N1,600, red oil that we do not import is now N800 for 1.5 litres bottle as against N400 before the recession. I cannot even think of cooking anymore.h
For Chinedu Ikechukwu, a 200 level student, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, the development is not funny. He said: “I now go for lectures on empty stomach or most times I make do with snacks. My lunch is usually between 1pm to 2pm at the canteen where I spend not less than N400. If I spend this amount on a meal how do I survive with other schools demands?”
Listen to Meme, 500 Level Law student in UNILAG. ‘’My anger is that food sellers have used the high cost of food stuffs as an excuse to exploit students by providing lower quantity and low quality food for triple the price.
I don’t cook, except when I cook noodles occasionally. I eat at the cafeteria. The problem now is that I can’t afford the exorbitant plate of food that is not even enough for me.. We are suffering from inflation and dearth of food items.
Besides, Israel Ibe, a 400 Level literature student of Imo State University, IMSU said that students whose live off campus are the worst who go hunger because the amount restaurants charge for a plate of food is unbearable.
Speaking on how boiled rice has become a hot cake on campus,, Ibe said: ‘’Boiled rice is one of the predominant food we student consume in owerri is rice. Right now, we can no longer buy rice, as a bag of rice now in Owerri is sold for N21,000 while a small peak milk cup is N130 .
“ Student now find it difficult to eat rice because the people selling rice in school restaurant sell smaller quantity than what they sold before on a normal day. Formerly, a plate of rice was sold for N200, but now we buy a plate of rice at N430.00.”