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Help, encroachers taking over our land ― UNILAG VC

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Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos.

By Adesina Wahab

The Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, UNILAG, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, has raised the alarm that some people are encroaching on the university’s land, especially from Iwaya end.

Ogundipe said the university is currently locked in a legal battle with some of the encroachers.

He stated this in Lagos during a chat with journalists to mark the end of official activities in the institution.

The Unilag VC, who was commenting on the difficulty the institution is facing expanding some facilities on campus, explained that despite the pressure of land being experienced on campus, some people were still denying the school access to its land.

“We have a number of communities we share boundaries with, but Iwaya people are very hostile to us and are encroaching on our land. We are pressed for land, no doubt, but some people are not helping us. The Federal College of Education, Technical, is on our land. Their occupation of the land is based on agreement.

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“But we are working with some private investors to build 200 flats and 2,000-bed hostel through public-private partnership and as at now, we have about 253 academic staff accommodated on campus out of about 1,500 staff,” he said.

Ogundipe added that with over 57,000 students, only about 8,000 could be accommodated on campus.

On how easy it is for investors to recoup their funds invested in students’ hostels, Ogundipe said it would take between 15 to 18 years for the investors to break even.

On the problems being encountered by former students wanting to get official transcripts, the VC said some people were asking the university’s management to do things unacceptable.

“Some people who want to emigrate to Canada would come to ask people issuing the documents to help them adjust their age, we can’t do that. Some people want us to send transcripts to their employers and that such should also be adjusted to bear age lower than their actual age.

“This outgoing year, over 32,000 people asked to be given transcripts, but only about 22,000 paid and completed all the processes to be issued the documents. Some of those who did not complete the processes would definitely be among those accusing us of delaying the issuance of the documents,” he added.

On the suggestion by some people that students should part of the Governing Council of the university, Ogundipe said students needed not to be part of the Council before issues concerning them would be taken care of.

The Unilag VC said from experience, students only needed to be carried along on issues concerning them and that university operators must be open in their dealings with them.


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