ASSESSMENT OF QUALITY AND AFFORDABILITY IN OFF-CAMPUS ACCOMMODATION (A CASE STUDY OF GIDAN KWANO CAMPUS, MINNA)
1.1 Background to the study
Students’ housing is said to be the process of providing functional shelter for studentuse with all services, devices and equipments required and desired for healthy and better living. It can also be said to be the process of providing shelter in a proper setting that is comfortable, functional, attractive, safe, identifiable and affordable within a neighbourhood, as well as constant maintenance of the built environment to support day to day activities of families and individualswithin the community, at the same time,exhibiting their cultural aspirations, preference and socio-economic activities (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2012). Although, shelter has been noted to be one of the most important needs for students to provide them with pleasant living and offer them a decent accommodation, a hiding place, and keep them free from other external harm. Oluwande (1983) defined shelter to be a spatial area that offers protection to man against harsh weather elements. All houses are shelter but not all shelter is houses. A student house is expected to have all the equipments, facilities, services and devices that are required for better living. But on the other hand, if they are not available in a house, such a house can be said to be only a shelter but not house.
Off-campus housing refers to students’ accommodations that are located or available outside the school campus. The need for this accommodation by students may be as a result of their inability to obtain bed space in the hostel pushing them to move away from on-campus accommodation into other places to get accommodation. As stated by Al-Homoud et al.(2004) when the accommodation provided by the University is not commensurate with the student population, the attention will be shifted and students will have to rely on privately owned residential housing, pushing for increase student’s residential housing supply by private owners.In the academic environment, housing has proven to be a major necessity, especially in tertiary institutions where students relocate from far distance to attain academic achievements. According to Price, I, Matzdorf, F, Smith, L, and Agahi, H (2003); Ajayi, M, Nwosu, A, and Ajani, Y (2015) among other considerations, student’s accommodation is a key feature, students and parents tend to consider when enrolling in a tertiary institution. Students need comfortable accommodations that are of good quality and affordable for them to be able to carry out their primary function in their institutions. The desire for off-campus accommodation which is described "as the required housing quantity to accommodate the minimum standard of an agreed household composition, age distribution, population of a given size, among other with no consideration given to the ability of individual household’s to afford the housing allocated to it” (Robinson, 1979). Therefore, the desire for accommodation is said to be an economic concept referring to the quality and amount of housing students can command as a result of their income.
Off-campus housing quality and affordability in the Federal University of Technology Minna, Gidan Kwano campus has been identified as factors that influence the choice of accommodation off-campus. As the quality of off-campus accommodation determines the price of the housing, students decide to rent houses that they can afford. Generally, students will always have a desire for a better living style that will meet their interesting needs. Therefore, it is important to look at the quality and affordability of students’ accommodationas they influence the choice of off-campus accommodation in Gidan Kwano Minna.
1.2 Statement of problem n
Students accommodation has been over looked as a housing need by the Federal and State Government, but rather an educational need. However, each university was instructed to cover a broad catchment area (Dober, 1963). Which means more students that are staying far away from their houses will begiven admission yearly. Amole (1997) argued that the implication of the policy will worsen students' housing problem.
The problem of students' housing in the Federal University of Technology Minna, especially in off-campus accommodation in Gidan Kwano campus Minna has been of great concern, as it relates to students housing quality and affordability in terms of convenience, safety, and how affordable the lodges are for students to pay and live in for the attainment of academic goals.Off-campus student’s residential accommodation environment could be said to be an important aspect of student’s life as it may have great influence on their academic performance and comfort.
The quality of students’ housing in terms of types and condition of building, and the building facilities provided for the students in the study area in most cases may determine the affordability of these accommodations by students, enabling them to decide which lodge they are to go for off-campus when the University cannot accommodate all her students on-campus. The desire to stay off-campus could be due to the variation between the total number of available bed spaces and the total population of registered students in Gidan Kwano campus of the Federal University of Technology Minna. This in turn, will bring about the need for accommodation in off-campus by students and their choices being influenced by the quality of this residential accommodation and how affordable they can be for the students of the Federal University of Technology Minna. Therefore, there is need to assess students’ personal information, the quality of students housing in terms of types and condition of building, building facilities provided, and affordability of the houses provided off-campus by students. Finally, determine the nature of relationship between various factors necessary for deciding choice of residence in Gidan Kwano Minna.
This has drawn attention to the following questions:
i. What are the socio-characteristics of the students in the study area?
ii. What are the types and condition of housing provided for the students in the study area?
iii. What are the housing facilities provided for the students in the study area?
iv. How affordable is the housing provided for students in the study area?
v. Is there any relationship between housing factors and choice of residence in the study area?
H0 = There is no significant relationship between choice of residence and housing affordability, housing quality, distance & security.
H1 = There is significant relationship between choice of residence and housing affordability, housing quality, distance & security.
1.4 Aim and Objectives
The aim of the study is to assess the quality and affordability of off-campus accommodation, with a view to ascertaining the factors that influence choice of residence in Gidan Kwano Campus of the Federal University of Technology Minna.
To achieve the stated aim, specific objectives were developed to:
i. Determine the students’ personal information in the study area
ii. Determine the types and condition of housing provided for the students in the study area.
iii. Assess housing facilities provided for the students in the study area.
iv. Examine students housing affordability in the study area.
v. Determine the relationship between housing factors and choice of residence in the study area
1.5 Justification for the Study
A search through related literatures on students’ housing quality in tertiary institutions reveals that in most nations, students’ accommodation receives less attention by the institutions and government. As explained by Simon and Francis (2012) tertiary institutions in Ghana pay less attention to students’ accommodation quality. Likewise in Nigeria especially public tertiary institutions, less attention is given to off-campus students’ accommodation quality (Olatunji, 2014). This explains that, there has been study on students’ accommodation quality off-campus but little on quality and affordability of accommodation. The study is targeted at bridging the gap in literature on quality and affordability in off-campus accommodation at the Federal University of Technology, a case study of Gidan Kwano Campus Minna.
Off-campus students’ residential housing in the Federal University of Minna main campus Gidan Kwano is an issue of concern as student’s accommodation may be decided by its quality consequently may be influencing the rent of these houses. According to information sourced from the Students’ Affairs Division of the Federal University of Technology Minna on students’ enrollment into the University, it shows that the total population of registered students as at 2018 was 18,000 students while in 2019 is 20,880. The variation in the figure explains that there is an increase in the quantity of students by 2,880. Out of the total number of registered students in 2019, Gidan Kwano campus has the total number of 10,068 registered students during the 2018/2019 academic session.
The Federal University of Technology Minna has provided student’s hostel in Gidan Kwano campus to accommodate her students in the hostel and these hostels has only 1,942 bed spaces to house the students on-campus (Students’ Affairs Divison, FUT. Minna, 2018). When compared with the total population of registered students in Gidan Kwano campus. It will be observed that the University cannot accommodate all its students on-campus which in turn will push the students to look for accommodation off-campus. The choice of off-campus accommodation is being influenced by the quality of housing which may determine how affordable these houses can be for the students.
Therefore, it is very important to assess students’ off-campus residential accommodation in Gidan Kwano Minna to understand the level at which good quality students residential accommodation has determined the price and how it affects the affordability of such houses to the students. In addition, to provide relevant information that will serve as a guide to private investors who may desire to invest into students accommodation in order to provide off-campus residential housing in Gidan Kwano that are of good housing quality and is affordable by students.
Finally, the information gathered during the research will serve as a guide to support further research work on students’ residential housing.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of the research encompasses off-campus residential housing need by students which will focus on assessing the housing quality in terms of types of building, building condition i.e access road to building, wall, roof, windows, door, and floor condition of building. The building facilities in terms of drainage, source of power lighting, water, toilet, bathroom and kitchen. The affordability of accommodation in terms of amount paid for rent among others by students off-campus in Gidan Kwano Minna. The University has two campuses; Bosso campus and Gidan Kwano campus. Therefore, the study will only concentrate onmain campus of the Federal University of Technology Minna off-campus students’ residential accommodation in Gidan Kwano community.
1.7 Basic Assumption of the Study
In order to carry out the study on assessing the quality and affordability of off-campus students’ accommodation in Gidan Kwano community of the Federal Universty of Technology Minna, the following assumptions were made;
1. That there are no squatters in the hostel
2. That there is only one student living in a room off-campus
1.8 The Study Area
1.8.1 Location of the Study Area
Bosso Local Government Area lies at latitude 9052"N, longitude 6050"E. Gidan Kwano settlement arefound in Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State. The Community has a major road that links Minna and Bida through which it can be accessed. Gidan Kwano community lies right opposite the Federal University of Technology Minna, main campus. Gidan Kwano is made up of two settlements: Jatapi and Gidan kwano, and the fringe of Mararaban Bukpe(Gbigi) as the third settlement. Initially they were three different settlements but as time move on, the settlement merged as a result of rapid growth in terms of population size with Jatapi and Mararaban Bukpe(Gbigi) being subsumed in Gidan kwano. The Community was originally known to be a farming settlement with most of its citizens originating from Gwari ethnic stock. With the coming of Federal University of Technology Minna, main campus to Gidan Kwano. It is now serving as a motivating factor for new ethnic group to move into the settlement bringing about diverse kind of settlement in Gidan kwano.
Figure 1: Map of Niger State Showing Bosso Local Government Area
1.9 Historical Background
Gidan Kwano is one of the areas under Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State. The Community lies between latitude 9°31'30.07"N and longitude 7°4'30.07"E, located along Minna-Bida road, directly opposite the Federal University of Technology Minna. The Community now known as Gidan Kwano was first inhabited by Mallam Muhammad Ibrahim Bello (Kunkura) who was initially leaving at the hills in Bosso. As a result of the increase in population, he decided to relocate to Gidan Kwano around the 1990s. The current site where the main campus of the Federal University of Technology is located was the first place where Mallam Muhammadu Ibrahim Bello first took his refuge as his settlement. History has it that, the legend, Mallam Muhammadu Ibrahim Bello happens to be the first person to have his house roofed with zinc in the whole of Bosso, Kpakungu and its surrounding environment. The nature of his house that was roofed with corrugated material gained popularity in the whole of Bosso, Kpakungu and its environment, the people decided to call it Gidan Kwano which means "house roofed with metal" in the Hausa language. The area where the permanent site of the Federal University of Technology Minna, the main campus is located following its founding on 1st February, 1983 was the site where Mallam Muhammadu Bello first had his settlement and was later acquired by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1987 to establish the University main campus. However, because of the acquisition of land by the Federal Government for institutional use and the need to relocate the community, the Government went across Minna-Bida highway to acquire land that will be used to relocate the Gidan Kwano community which is now known as Gidan Kwano village.
Figure 2: Showing Gidan Kwano Community.
Source: Google earth image (2019)
The Federal University of Technology Minna is a specialised Science and Technology University. With the coming of the Federal University of Technology Minna on the 1st of February, 1983 with its campuses located in Bosso Town and Gidan Kwano communities, it now gave way for influx of people from within and far looking for job opportunities and admissions into the University. Most of them end up settling down in either in Bosso Town or Gidan Kwano Community, after achieving their aim. In addition, because of the increasing population of students as time goes on, which may not be commensurate with the available bed spaces provided by the University, some students tend to look for alternative source of accommodation by moving away from the school campus into Gidan Kwano village to secure accommodation.
1.10 Physical Characteristics of the Study Area
The community Gidan Kwano has swamp areas, with marshy areas dispersed around the community. It has no major river or stream but during raining reason, it has running water flowing through the natural drainage which divides the community into two halves.
Minna has two distinctive seasons which include the rainy season and dry season. The rainy season is between March and October with an average rainfall of about 100mm yearly, while the dry season is between October and March which is characterized by tropic continental wind. Considering the climate condition of Gidan Kwano, it is of no distinction with the climate obtained in Minna town as the climatic zone is the same.
Rainfall in the study area is categorized into two major seasons; it's the dry season and the rainy season. The rainy season usually occurs between April and October, while the dry season is between November and March.
The average rainfall in the study area is about 328mm, while maximum accumulation begins in May when the average received in the study area is 156mm; it falls to about 68mm in October. The highest amount of rain is received in August and September, with rainfall of about 16 days per month.
There is a gradual increase in temperature from January to March. The beginning of the rains in April marks a notable drop in temperature. This continues in the cessation periods of October, when a new descent in November-December is possible due to the arrival of the Harmattan winds. The highest temperatures are recorded in March, when temperatures can reach a maximum of 37.1°C, while the lowest temperatures are recorded in December, when temperatures can drop to 19.3°C.
The type of vegetation seen in Gidan Kwano community is similar to that of Southern Guinea Savanna Vegetation which is made up of grassland scattered and mixed with trees and shrubs.
1.11 Socio-Economic Characteristics of Gidan Kwano and Bosso town
1.11.1 Economic Activities
The economic activities of the Gidan Kwano community are greatly influenced by the presence of staffs who are working and students who are schooling at the University. Agri-business is the majormeans of livelihood of the Gwari people in Gidan Kwano community. While those that are not engaged into farming, go into commercial activities such as small and medium scale trading, local industrialization and providing the students population with supporting services such as retail outlet and printing centers, etc.
National Bureau of Statistic (2018)revealed that, the estimated population of Bosso Local Government Area with a growth rate of +3.46% per year in 2016 was 208,100. Therefore, using +3.46% per year as the growth rate, the projected population of Bosso Local Government Area in 2019 will be 230,456.
Before the establishment of Federal University of Technology Minna, it is located in Gidan Kwano community. The settlement was characterised of mainly Gwari speaking people. But with the establishment of the University, this brought about movement of people from different ethnic groups, culture and social interaction into Gidan Kwano community making it diverse kind of habitation with the common ethnic group still Gwari.
The living population in Gidan Kwano community is divided into two roughly equal parts; the Muslims and Christians. This can be seen from the presence of many Mosques and Churches within the Community..