Following the 10 months’ old strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union Of Polytechnics, ASUP. The host community of Bauchi State Polytechnic, Bauchi, is counting its losses.
Members of the community, who depend on the economic activities around the polytechnic for survival, are asking the Federal Government to resolve the industrial dispute with polytechnic lecturers, saying it was irrational for the Federal Government to close an important segment of the education sector for almost a year without resolving the matter.
A visit by our correspondent showed that the whole environment was over grown with grasses even as there were fears that venomous snakes and other reptiles had taken over the place.
It was learnt that majority of members of the host community who were engaged in petty trading around the campus as well as landlords whose houses were being occupied by off-campus students were also groaning over lack patronage.
With the establishment of the polytechnic, some residents of the area had cashed in on the inadequate hall of accommodation and erected buildings which had been yielding income for them.
Some of the houses were concentrated around Gwalameji, Rafin Zurfi and Yelwa.
However, since the strike started 10 months ago, landlords have been lamenting over non occupation of their houses some of which were deteriorating.
Alhaji Faruk Dahiru, owner of a building of a 20-flat of one-room apartment each said the rooms were hired for between N50,000 and N100,000 yearly.
Dahiru said business peaked each time students returned for new sessions, adding that life had been difficult with the ongoing strike.
“Through the students, landlords generate a lot of income to invest for the future. Some of our children who are coming from poor homes and want to be educated, are engaged by the university and polytechnic students to render them services ranging from car wash, laundry, housekeeping among others.”
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