After you have gained admission to a university, one of many other problems a student is likely to face is lack of Accommodation. I have to admit that studying in America really makes you spoilt for choice. You actually get to pick your room-mates in advance and depending on whether you're a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, you can also pick the exact room you want. Imagine the luxury of these choices after coming from UNILAG. I was amazed.
I opted to be a day student because I really did not want to deal with the accommodation wahala on campus. It was a real issue back then, and I imagine it is even worse now. For one thing, the growing student population was not put into consideration when the housing facilities were constructed. The same halls of residence that people in my parents' generation had used were still the ones being used when I eventually got there. That included the male hostels such as Jaja and Mariere, as well as the female ones like Fagunwa, MTH (Madam Tinubu Hall), Newest and the notorious Moremi Hall (notorious for aristo runs among other things).
Inasmuch as I never lived on campus, I typically spent my breaks in between classes in different friends' rooms, so I had a fairly good idea of how they lived. People who had legitimately paid for bed space in an already over-crowded room, originally intended for maybe 2 students, was now accommodating about 8 or more students. Possibly 4 of them were legitimate room-mates, while the others were squatters who also chipped in. Add hygiene issues and NEPA issues and you can understand why I opted out. But I lived in Lagos, so I rode the bus to school every day. For those who lived outside Lagos or within Lagos but in areas that were too far from the campus (think Ajah, Ikorodu, etc), the high cost of transportation made on-campus accommodation necessary.
But perhaps, the most fascinating aspect was that even though on-campus accommodation was problematic, it was in HIGH demand. There were waiting lists and the bed spaces or costs of accommodation were ridiculously high, especially for highly-coveted halls like Moremi. Not to mention the fact that your room-mates could be cultists.
I have heard of universities in other states of Nigeria where on-campus accommodation is non-existent (e.g. LASU) and so off-campus housing is the norm. That, of course, has its own security issues, not to mention expenses, but students had to deal with this, in addition to all the other school wahala.
I don’t see any solution to this other than building more hostels and restricting the number of students admitted. But to do that, there have to be alternatives as well e.g. more public schools for students to apply to.
Now, it's your turn. If you attended a Nigerian university or polytechnic, did you live on campus or off campus? What was your experience like? If you didn't, have you heard any interesting stories with accommodation Wahala? Kindly share.