ABH ROOM TRANSFER BUSINESS
On Saturday, 23 June, Brownites filled the corridor of block A basement for the room balloting exercise. Their unity of purpose however was not in clear line with their intentions and conditions. Many Brownites partook not because they were in need but in hope to pick a YES to give a friend that has not been so fortunate. And as always, there are those who wish to take advantage of anything and everything. For these “roomopreneurs”, it is time for an annual booming business. A critical appraisal of these sets of people would confirm that they are all wrong but then, in relativity. One who gives his slot to a friend has simply tried to help. In fact, he would have a valid argument of merely claiming his or her right and using it as it pleases him/her. Moral and common sense would also ensure the trader a soft landing. However, the more important thing to note would be that the beneficiary would have an undue advantage conferred for merely knowing “someone”. In other words, if this person knows four people who are entitled to accommodation but do not need it, he simply has four times the chance of an average Brownite. At the meeting of the vice-chancellor and the halls and faculties’ stakeholders, he (vice chancellor) remarked, when answering questions on the increment of the university’s accommodation fees, that accommodation in the (school’s) halls is not compulsory and whoever is not comfortable with the terms may seek solace elsewhere. Inferably, the management has always expected that some students would seek accommodation outside the halls and boost the chances of others who wish to stay. It simply explains why the school would not build halls and rooms to the exact number of her students. This paints the image clearer how those who have decided to leave can make things difficult for those who wish to stay. Still, if it is just about favouring friends, the narrative would have been less significant. Many have proven to be savvies of this low-grade extortion that is fast becoming the most lucrative of the hall businesses. As if that of the school management was not enough, students who condemn their inconsideration are going the exact way. These same Brownites who have reduced the chances of others eventually take advantage of their situation and exploit them in an incredulous way.
The room sellers come in grades: Some do not mean any harm, they simply suffer intent confusion. They want to help but not just others, their pockets inclusive. Some simply want others to pay for their accommodation. Example is the case of two guys who got bed spaces (each) for forty thousand naira. They will sell one of the spaces for eighty thousand, squat themselves in the other and use the money to pay for both bed spaces. Some others would give excuses that they need the money (as if anyone assured them they would pick a Yes). Some are however just unfortunately indescribable. Even when the rooms were for fourteen thousand, they sold for a hundred thousand (I mean a bed space, not a whole room). The argument of those who say people can afford it is not only baseless but highly hypocritical.
When the British airline defended their expensive flight tickets in Nigeria saying “Nigerians can afford it”, we all reacted bitterly. The argument of those who compare it to simple principle of buying and selling is also grossly flawed because unlike in this case, you do more than others to get the goods and it is in that regard that you are considered a “legitimate” seller. In this case, you have done nothing more than others who picked “No”. Also, the argument that the one who sells the room has done the buyer a favour is not entirely correct. Perhaps the buyer would be more favoured (with higher probability of picking a Yes) if the seller stayed off balloting.
Should we leave out school regulation, the argument would indeed be moral based (not entirely on philosophic or economic principles) but isn’t moral the lack that has made our society this worse?
Is this not what we complain about in our leaders? The lack of consideration; an essential of moral!
Room trade is illegal in itself. I don’t see how this article should even speak of morals, rules or regulations as it defies them all anyway.
Hopefully, in the near future, a definite solution to this room problem would be found.
Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the post.
We totally understand your standpoint, as we equally condemn a trade that seeks to extort and exploit individuals who are vulnerable for a particular need.
This article was written in the perspective of the trade being seen as a “norm” over the years in the hall, something that has become so bad, that it is now so good to indulge in. We only hope that this will become a thing of the past , soon.