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Economic hardship arousing negative, positive creativity in Nigerian students – UNICAL Undergraduates

By Chris Njoku

Mr Stanislaus Michael, a third-year student of Microbiology at the University of Calabar, UNICAL has revealed that the present economic hardship in the nation is making students creative both positively and negatively.

Michael made the assertion in an interview with Converseer on Tuesday in Calabar while reacting to the economic challenges many students of the institution were going through.

Converseer reports that in the last few weeks, there have been protests in some states in the nation over the prevailing economic hardship and high cost of foodstuffs as most of the Federal Civil Servants are yet to receive their salaries for January.

The 300-level undergraduate said students were going through difficulties as things; such as consumables they used to buy for N100 or N200 had doubled in price to about N400.

According to him, cooking has also been made difficult because the prices of gas and kerosene are beyond the reach of average students who can’t afford to buy a kilogramme of gas for N1,300.

He said to survive on campus, many students like himself now take up multiple jobs, as money is no longer forthcoming from parents as it used to, while others look for other means.

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“Today is Monday and about 30 per cent of the girls in the hostels will be coming back from their journeys that they refer to as hustle.

“Some travel as far as Abuja, Lagos, Kano to meet different clients and their parents are not aware – they only tell their close friends.

“Come to the hostel on Friday evening, you will see a lot of ladies with their luggage leaving the hostels, some travel very far to return on Monday,” he said.

He also noted that the present situation had increased extortion in the institution because many offices now extort between M500 and N1,000 from students to rectify student issues even though they receive salaries for these jobs.

He added that normally when he called his parents for money, he used to get his response in hours but in the current situation, it takes his parents, sometimes a month before they listen to him.

Similarly, Miss Gladys Amadi, a final year student of Medical Laboratory Science (Med Lab) said things had been difficult for her with the recent increase in school fees and other payments in school, and the harsh economic reality.

“My parents try their best when they can and I have received assistance from some really kind persons.

“Also, by God’s mercies I started a little business of producing peanuts in school which is helping to offset some of the bills but I must confess, things are really hard,” she maintained.

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