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Campus traders lament woes as ASUU strike enters 5th month

By Mayowa Okekale, Ibadan on 01/11/2013

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Nigerians whose livelihood depends on business transacted on university campuses are counting their woes as the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) enters its fifth week today. The industrial action occasioned by the Federal Government’s failure to keep a 2009 funding agreement signed with ASUU, has paralysed the country’s public universities since it started on July 1.

It was lamentation galore by a cross section of small business operators at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, who spoke with News Express. They include shop owners, typists, stylists and cyber café managers.

Francis Bolaji, Chairman, Students’ Union Building (SUB): The strike has been very disastrous and making our businesses here dull. In this room only, we have about 30 spaces where people engage in their different commercial activities. But now, the number of people around is about 15. So, you can see the difference. When we come here in the morning, we hardly make 500 naira at the end of the day, unlike before when we made enough sales with students on campus. Sincerely, it is very unfortunate. Now that we are talking strike and not looking beyond, it is sad. This is because in the aftermath of the strike, government may have a lot of things to contend with. So, by the time they call off the strike and students are coming back into the campus, chances are that they would come with different attitude and behaviours. In view of this, we urge the government and ASUU to quickly do something about the strike.

Christopher Daniel, a photographer and student: The strike is badly affecting the whole strata of the school community. Since when students have evacuated the community, people think they don’t have anything to do in school again because of the strike. It is inevitable either one likes it or not that there would always be decline in sales. This is because the number of population that comes in and out has reduced.

Blessing Okos, a typist: The sales have been so bad. Truth is, we hardly make 100 naira a day in this business, since we have nobody to patronise us, and that is really a bad one on us. We are all tired of this because everybody is complaining everyday.

Funmilayo Solagbade, photocopy operator and Overall Chairman, Tenants’ Forum SUB:

When we talk about university, we talk students. It is believed that when there are no students, there is no university. This is because since ASUU embarked on strike we don’t have customers, and here, students are our customers majorly. Comparing how much we make currently to when students were still on campus, it has been a colossal loss. Let us assume that we made 500 naira daily as a profit then. Now, scarcely we can be able to make 50 naira in a day as profit.

Omodolapo Waliyat, food canteen manager: As we all know, this is an academic environment which students dominate. We have been affected negatively since they are gone. But, actually, we still thank God that few staff academic or non-academic members are coming around. Few students around that visit us because they want to do one or two things in school are still coming around to eat. But the population of people that come to eat has regrettably reduced and has rendered our market backward. If we take a closer look at this, we would observe it is not only affecting us but even parents at home because they now spend double on their children than what they spend before. Then, we were hoping when it spans 100 days they would call the strike off. But it is quite unfortunate that the never did.

Samson Friday, popcorn seller: I see this as being a very terrible and dull situation because the way I sell before is very different from the way I sell in this present time, and it is happening to majority of people here in the campus. Many of us are even down because of this change in our sales. Before the strike, I made like 6,000-7,000 naira in a day, but now, I hardly make 1,000 naira. I just pray God intervenes on this so that normalcy could return to our business here.

Kayode Akande, stylist: It is very obvious that the situation of our market now is different from what we have when we have students on campus. Things are not really going well with our market. Before, I made up to 5,000 naira daily, but now, it is a pity I don’t make 1,500 naira. You can see it is seriously lamentable. I am really down about this.

•Photo shows ASUU National Chairman, Dr. Nasir Fagge.

Source News Express

Posted 01/11/2013 6:16:23 PM

 

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