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DELSU: Worries, As Abraka, Asaba Campuses Merge

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By Ogude Franklin/Erhijivwo Goodluck

The crisis situation that has befallen Abraka due to the high cost of living, may be a tip of the iceberg when compared to the looming fay of the Abraka and Asaba campuses, as students of Delta State University (DELSU), Asaba Campus, numbering over 3,000, are expected to relocate to Abraka community from January, 2022.

The Asaba campus, which has operated as an adjunct of DELSU, Abraka, has recently been changed into the Dennis Osadebe University. The campus which housed the Management Science and Faculty of Agriculture is now one of the three new universities established by the Delta state Government and approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC) in 2021.

On this ground, a directive was issued, following the Senate’s 180th regular meeting, held on Wednesday, 29th September, 2021, to the students from Asaba Campus to relocate to Abraka Campus, ahead of the 2021/2022 session. The memo was sent out by the Deputy Registrar (Senate) on 21st October, 2021. Following this, there will be a visible increase in the number of students in Abraka.

While this might appear as just a change in location for them, it’s obvious that this directive might have some underlying implication. Looking at the recent development from the angle of the students, those who have been asked to relocate down to the Abraka campus, overtime have gotten use to Asaba environment and have settled there. They have already sorted out issues such as accommodation and all they will need. This directive will demand they begin sourcing for new accommodation in the Abraka community. It will obviously not be an easy one for many of them. The present dilemma of scouting for houses in Abraka is something to worry about. The increasing population of the university community, Abraka has resulted in a high level of competition for limited resources. With this, Abraka is set to become a town for the survival of the fittest.

Currently, a couple of buildings are under construction in Site 3 and some are being renovated in Site 2, Abraka Campus. The question is will these buildings be completed and ready for moving in by the students before resumption, come January, 2022? It is just barely two months to the resumption of a new academic year as stated in the current academic calendar, and these structures are yet to be completed. Campuses across Site 3 struggle to cope with the class population ratio, and their lecture halls with the number of students and courses offered. The faculty of the Social Sciences, FSS, will feel the heat the most as they have intertwined courses with the Faculty of Management Sciences, FMS. Courses like Business Administration and Accounting and Finance, are offered in both FMS, Asaba and FSS, Abraka. Students from FSS sometimes take lectures at the Weekend Hall, due to the limited Halls in the faculty. Attaching the students of FMS will only make FSS more crowdy. Other faculties like the Faculty of Science, FOS, will have to house the Faculty of Agriculture as they are the closest in relation to courses. The university management has stated that provisions have been made available to accommodate the Asaba students, but these are not obvious to the residing Abraka students. The convocation hall after renovation now has a time to be open and closed for the day, which is solely in line with the plans for the accommodation of Asaba students.

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Continuing, while we cannot deny that the university community is developing by the day and different business infrastructure are being raised, the questions that must be asked are “Is the university and the Abraka community really ready to receive over 3000 students from Asaba? Will this worsen the current financial struggle”?. There will sure be an increased demand for commodities which will invariably lead to a further hike in the prices of these commodities. The school environment is set to get busier.
The university will need to make more provisions compared to what is already available. On a school day, students struggle in long queues to take tricycles at the campus 3 small gate. With this increase in population, the university authority will need to improve on its intra- school transportation. Also to savage this situation, the university might need to consider cutting down slightly on the number of aspirants that will be admitted for next session.

We do hope that this partial centralization of the university campuses will lead to the growth and progress of the institution. We also do believe in the management of the university and in her ability to handle this transition and put everything in place for a successful session ahead.

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