By Eze Glory Chika and Adetutu Ridhwan||
While they have not come to term with the increment in the transportation fare, last week, precisely on Friday, the university of Ilorin students woke up to another news of increment, and this time around, it’s on the Item7 commodities.
To put things in the right perspectives, the University of Ilorin Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ) swung into action, and the first point of contact in the bid to clarify issues surrounding the increment is the number student in the university, that it, the Students Union’s President, Comrade Okoko Wisdom, aka Passion. The below is our interview with him. Viz:
UCJ-UNILORIN: Last week Friday, we discovered that there was an increase in the price of item7 rice and a decrease in quantity, what do you have to say about that?
Passion: We discussed the issue yesterday at our own level(CEC), and you know as much as we have our students at heart we must also understand the current situation of things around. We got to discover that they explained actually to us; to the student affairs also. If you noticed they increased the price of the ones outside campus one week before that on campus was increased, and there was a notice at that place that the price was going to change, you know the issue of closing border for rice is not a strange thing to us. That’s one of the issues with the price of the rice, and that issue of the bank charge by CBN, I think 50naira or 50 percent for above one thousand. So those were the recent issues that actually caused that inflation.
UCJ-UNILORIN: What offices did they inform concerning the increment?
Passion: Ok… I must actually be straight forward with you, they actually carried the Student Affairs along in that decision and then I told them that ehh…but I feel that at some point there was no proper communication from them, they didn’t go through the right channel of communication but it dawned on me that ok it came to their consciousness that they have to inform a body on campus before carrying out their action, which they said they informed the Dean Students’ Affairs and he approved it. I just got that information, and I’m yet to confirm with the Dean Students’ Affairs.
UCJ-UNILORIN: So don’t you think this increment in price and reduction in quantity is in a way or another affecting student’s welfarism, being that your administration, is an administration that has students’ welfarism as its foremost agenda?
Passion: OK…we have not come to say that the current price is where its going to stay. Very soon we’ll embark on actions, not only Item7, there are a lot of outlets on campus, too, that have been misbehaving as regards price. Very soon we’ll be having our Price Control Unit of the senate council and then we’ll move round campus to monitor all commodities on campus that are actually on the rise of price.
UCJ-UNILORIN: They increased their price and as such, we should be expecting a proportional increase in quantity. Not when the price is increased, the quantity is decreased, as there has been a lot of complaints regarding that.
Passion: I believe that if they are having reasons to increase the price because of some other things, then increasing the size is really as if there is no change in it.
UCJ-UNILORIN: What we know about issue of increment in price of item7 products and all is dated back to 2 years or there about. Every year or let’s say periodically, these people always try to come up with increment, as it happened last year, even during the past two administrations, and they first had to present a proposal. So we’ll like to know, firstly, were you given any proposal? And secondly, was there any proposal submitted to the senate council for deliberation?
Passion: As I said we have not folded our hands on the matter, the Price Control Unit is coming, let them just be flexing now, we are coming.
UCJ-UNILORIN: The CEC considered the pleadings or perspective the owner of Item7 was coming from or all he had to say concerning the increase in his food’s price, like the closure of the Border and all. So why then is the Student’s Union not considering that of the Korope Drivers, since they’re also saying that there’s now an increase the purchasing price of Korope and that of the maintenance of it, thereof?
Passion: I want to say that whatever is happening between us and korope is something that is formal but Item7 has not given us any formal reason why there should be an increment. I told you, I said, he told me, not that he communicated the Union. Because he’s somebody I know, they were just giving that excuse and I said ok, who did you inform, did you carry anybody along and he said Ok they told the Students’ Affairs. And I concluded by saying that, that’s a personal discussion, for as far as the Union is concerned there was no formal communication to us. And I said as soon as the Price Control Team of the Senate Council is constituted, they would approach them formally and the item7 would give them his justification for increasing the price and if they consider it not to be justifiable, they’ll have to face whatever they’ll have to face, but officially there has been no discussion between us and Item7.
UCJ-UNILORIN: But then, don’t you see that as a wrong mode of implementation by Item7, considering the fact that the Students’ Union or the Students’ body as a whole, have a bearing or should be informed or kept abreast of such?
Passion: It’s actually a wrong mode of implementation, as you have said. For we were not carried along, but as I said, the Union and the Students’ Affairs relate with them. I can’t say if they gave them a proposal, and i don’t know the reasons they gave to the Students’ Affairs for the increment. But the Students’ affairs will relate with them and then we also relate back to Item7, and then we’ll make our conclusion if the implementation was a wrong one. And then we’ll carry out our…but then for now, the only thing I know about Item7 is the fact that there’s an increase in price of the commodity they are selling, and then we are yet to communicate with them. And then the reason why we’re yet to do so, is because very soon the Price Control Unit would be coming up and then every action that is to be taken would be…you know, you wouldn’t expect the president to fight them or the CEC.