[Jack of all trades, master of ONE]
Maybe indeed, UI is the first and the best but she is only so in her primary pursuit – academics. The university has over time become involved in other sectors especially that of food. We have U and I fast food, UI waters, UI bread, UI fish and rumors have it that soonest, we’d have UI Pharmaceuticals. Of these products, UI has monopolized UI Water and UI Bread (except for FoodCo which not all students can afford) such that only UI Water and bread products are allowed for sale in the university environs.
It is a commendable attempt on the side of the university to supply her students these products, having the best interest in mind for us all as well as obviously generating an internal source of revenue. But isn’t what is worth doing worth doing well? The question is, are UItes satisfied with these products produced to the best of standards? Your answer is as good as mine. My major concerns are UI Water and UI Bread.
OF UI WATER…
Recently, UItes have begun to complain that UI Water does not meet up to the lame man’s definition of water as a colourless, odourless and tasteless substance. Many times, the water has a pungent taste that betrays the use of excess chlorine to purify the water. At times, the water is not potable at all, not to talk of the many leakages inside a bag. Other times, the content in the sachet is not believably 50cl.
Just before the first semester exams, a student took ill and was diagnosed of typhoid in a private hospital. This was after she was repeatedly treated for malaria in the university clinic, Jaja. She spent a whole week in the hospital and when she was recuperating, the doctor told her to change the water she drinks. Indeed, the worst of harm can come from the best of intentions.
OF UI BREAD…
UI Bread can only be enjoyed if it is got within an hour of delivery from the bakery. Once it stays longer than that, it becomes hard and dry like something made out of fermented cassava. The main problem with UI bread is the level of hygiene with which it is distributed (that of the production is unknown to me as I have never been to the bakery). The bread is left bare and naked, exposed to all the dust and microorganisms in the air during distribution to shop owners in various halls and buildings. Flies perch and feast on them as they please.
The sellers touch the breads with their bare hands too, hands used for counting dirty money, hands not properly cleaned after using the toilet. A piece foam that has fallen on the floor a zillion times is used to wipe the bread in an attempt to remove small black dirts left on the surface of the bread by baking pans. The most disgusting scene is when air is blown into the nylons for covering bread. The air is accompanied by a spray of saliva and an uncountable number of microorganisms. Then, we buy this bread and consume it with a savouring plate of ewa!
It is quite vexing that despite the poor quality of these products, they are not always readily available. Often, one would scout all the shops within proximity in a futile search for bread or water. Also, the prices are not subsidised. A sachet of water is ₦5 and a bag is ₦100. There is no difference. And I can get a better product outside the school environs for the same price as UI bread.
MY POINT EXACTLY
A jack of all trades is a master of none. If the university cannot provide us with good, quality and reliable products, then she should allow the importation of these products from elsewhere. Better still, she could improve on her production efficacy. You cannot tie us down with shackles and ask us to run…