House rent in settlements around the permanent site of University of Abuja has skyrocketed following the relocation of some departments of the university from the mini campus in Gwagwalada.
Daily Trust reports that since 2009, the school has been witnessing gradual relocation of departments and also students to the university’s permanent site on the Abuja airport road.
Starting with the Faculty of Arts in 2009, many other faculties have moved to the more expansive permanent campus site.
The relocation has not only impacted on the socio-economic activities in the new site and communities nearby but has also thrown up new challenges, particularly accommodation.
Because the number of students moving into the permanent site surpasses the available accommodation, communities nearby are now cashing in on the situation. Iddo Sarki, a settlement close to the university, is one of such communities.
A cross-section of residents of Iddo, who spoke with our reporter, said rent has skyrocketed due to influx of university students into the community.
A native of the community, Danladi Isyaku Bako, said a single room without kitchen and bathroom which was N20,000 per anum some years ago, has now gone up to between N45,000 and N50,000.
He said a one bed self-contain room with bathroom, toilet and kitchen now goes for between N80,000 and N140,000 depending on the location of such houses.
“The houses very close to where there are booming activities are more expansive than the ones in isolated areas,” he said.
Bako noted that the relocation of the university from the mini campus in Gwagwalada to the main campus has enhanced development and socioeconomic activities of Iddo community. He said such activities boom day and night in the area.
Daily Trust observed that there has been ongoing construction of buildings especially self-contain rooms within the community said to be targeted of students.
A cross-section of students interviewed said they were constrained to live off campus because accommodation in the school was limited.
A 200 level students of the Department of History and Diplomatic Studies of the university, Bassey Victor, who stays at Iddo Sarki, said access to hostel accommodation is limited, a situation which made him to secure accommodation outside the university.
Victor said he was disappointed after several efforts to secure accommodation at the hostel failed.
A 100 level student of Department of Political Science of the university, Gabriel Jacob, said he also made a lot of effort to secure a bed space with one of his classmates, but without success.
Jacob said only few students who have connections were mostly considered.
He said after all his effort to secure a bed space failed, he decided to rent a one bedroom self contain with one of his course mates at N70,000 even as he spends N100 daily to get to school on commercial motor cycle.
He said it was unfortunate that some students have taken procuring hostel accommodation as their means of livelihood.
“I can tell you that there is a student that has two to three bed spaces and he will sell them at the black market rate of between N60,000 to N80,000 each,” he alleged.
Another 200 level student who stays at the hostel, Francis Adejoh, of Department of Mathematics, said he bought a bed space for N55,000 from one of the students after several efforts he made to secure a bed space himself failed.
He said instead of him paying N25,000 for a bed space, he ended up paying N55,000 through one of the students.