The disturbing collapse at OAU amphitheatre

The collapse of some sections of the ceiling at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) amphitheatre has once again pointed to the failure of successive administrations to invest in education. Undoubtedly, there is an absolute absence of maintenance culture in Nigeria vis-a-vis decayed and decaying infrastructure across our tertiary institutions.

The tragedy that accompanied the collapse of the amphitheatre ceiling could have been avoided if the Nigerian government had been honest about funding education. Unfortunately, the structures that have been there since the 1960s and 1970s have never been maintained or had an integrity test done.

Government failure to fund education, especially fixing decaying infrastructure across tertiary institutions in the country, makes buildings in our universities look so ugly and terrible, which goes further to debase the aesthetic value of a university as magnificent as Great Ife. I am sure the Israeli architect who designed OAU and the forebears who conceived the idea of the university will be turning in their graves, looking back at the level of decay in the university today.

The decaying and decayed infrastructure and the living conditions of students on campus, especially in hostels where students live more like those at concentration camps, leave much to desire.

With this collapse of the ceiling at amphitheatre and its accompanying tragedy which is a consequence of failure to address infrastructural decay, the Nigerian government must honestly declare a state of emergency in the education sector.

Kazeem Israel, OAU, Ile-Ife

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