The Senate of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, has ordered the institution’s management to ask all students to vacate hostels “with immediate effect.”
A member of the Senate, who was part of the meeting but does not want to be quoted, claiming not to be authorised to do so, told the PREMIUM TIMES that the decision was unavoidable following the rising cases of coronavirus infection on the campus.
“The Senate at its meeting held today considered the situation of the third wave of COVID-19 in Lagos State and its implications for the university. The Senate resolved that all students should vacate the halls of residence immediately,” the source said.
The source also added that the Senate also approved the commencement of virtual lectures from July 26.
The principal assistant registrar in charge of information, Nonye Oguama, did not pick our reporter’s calls as her telephone line was engaged.
The Senate, which comprises professors, heads of the departments and other lecturers, is the supreme organ of a university on academic matters including approval of results and award of certificates.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dele Ashiru, also confirmed the development to our reporter on the phone.
Mr Ashiru, who is also a member of the Senate, said the decision was imperative in the face of what he described as an imminent third wave of the pandemic in Lagos, and the campus in particular.
The ASUU chair said the new development is a vindication of his union’s earlier position on the inadequate protective facilities against the pandemic on Nigerian campuses.
He said compared to what obtains at the airports and other public facilities used by those he described as Nigeria’s ruling elite, “the universities lack such preventive facilities.”
He said; “so today, the senate of the university met to take this far reaching decision to save the university community from the spread of the pandemic.
“That will lead me to say that it is not too late for the government to begin to think of how to invest heavily in our education system so that in situations like this, we wouldn’t have to take such drastic step.”
The university had earlier announced that there are signs of the imminent third wave of coronavirus disease on the campus.
The university in a statement posted on its website, a copy of which Mrs Oguama shared with reporters on Tuesday evening, said there is an increased number of patients presenting COVID-19-related symptoms at its medical centre.
The statement, however, failed to mention specifically whether any positive cases have been recorded on the campus or not.
The statement had read in part: “The University of Lagos community has also been affected by this potential 3rd wave, with an increase in the number of patients presented to the University of Lagos Medical Centre with flu-like symptoms which are similar to COVID-19.
“The Medical Centre hereby assures all members of the university community that all necessary actions in line with the Federal and Lagos State Government guidelines have been taken regarding this potential threat in our community.”