Factors responsible for poor hostel facilities in Nigerian institutions of higher learning

Poor hostel facilities especially for institutions of higher learning are fast becoming a very common phenomenon in Nigeria. This phenomenon is propelled by different factors which include:

  • Poor Funding
  • The increase in non-residential campuses
  • Poor maintenance culture
  • Overpopulation
  • Use of substandard materials
  1. Poor funding: Education in Nigeria is greatly affected by poor funding. This also affects the provision of hostel facilities, leading to poor hostel facilities in colleges and universities. Ubong (2012) identified poor funding as the major cause of dilapidated structures in Nigerian institution of higher learning which include but not limited to inadequate classrooms, poor recreational facilities and poor hostel accommodation.
  2. The increase in non-residential campuses: Poor hostel accommodation has increased tremendously with the increase in non-residential university campuses in Nigeria. The birth of state universities in Nigeria in the middle of 1980 gave rise to non-residential campuses and the rise in poor hostel facilities. To buttress this argument, Okebukola, (2012) stated that when Lagos State University was established, it was obvious that there was no plan to provide students with hostel facilities because the institution was cited in an already build up area with just enough accommodation of administrative offices and classrooms for lectures. The students were made to look for accommodation outside the premises of the university.  Another institution in the middle of the 1980s which was established as a non-residential campus was the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. This gives room for private entrepreneurs venturing into the business of providing hostel accommodation for students in these institutions. These accommodations in most cases were substandard since the university authority does not have control over the quality of the accommodation provided by these private entrepreneurs for their students.
  3. Poor maintenance culture: Poor maintenance culture has also contributed to poor hostel facilities in Nigerian institutions of higher learning. In the words of Elechi (2008) it is very alarming that in Nigeria, infrastructural breakdown is not taking seriously especially in our higher institution. For example, a broken toilet plumbing pipe can be left unattended for days or even months. This poor maintenance culture leads to breakdown of facilities in hostels which exposes students to different health consequences.
  4. Overpopulation: So many of the high institutions in Nigeria are overpopulated compared with the infrastructures available in the institutions. Ejionueme (2010) painted an appealing picture of a typical hostel accommodation in Nigeria higher institution thus, “One faithful night at around 10 p.m. I visited a male hostel in University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), one of the rooms with three double-bunked beds. This room was meant to accommodate six students but inside the room I saw 26 students with 12 of them lying on the available beds while 14 were on the floor”.
  5. Use of substandard materials: The use of substandard materials also contributes to poor hostel facilities in Nigeria. The use of substandard materials, lead to cracked walls, leaky roof, poor sanitary conveniences and poor water supply in the hostels (Akpan, 2010).


Akpan, P. (2010). Housing conditions and environment quality in Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria. African Journal of Social and Policy Studies, 5(9), 78-81.

Ejionueme, L. (2010). Management of student personnel services in Federal and State Universities. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis, educational Foundations, UNN.

Elechi, E.O. (2008). Student hostel accommodation at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Unpublished Seminar Paper, Educational Foundations, UNN.

Okebukola, P. (2012). The state of university education in Ibadan. National Universities Commission.

Ubong, N. (2012). Hostel accommodation in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.(A case of Federal College of Education Ohoku). An Unpublished M.ED. Project Uniuyo

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