Students of the University of Abuja who have to shuttle for lectures between the Gwagwalada mini campus and the Giri main campus have expressed frustration due inadequate vehicles which force them to queue for hours while waiting for the next bus.
The University of Abuja has two campuses, the main campus located along airport road and the mini campus located in Gwagwalada.
Although the mini campus does not house as many departments or hold as many activities as the main campus, it is where the Education Department is located as well as two other departments under the faculty of social sciences.
As such, students and staff will need to move from one campus to the other for different purposes.
THE WHISTLER observed, during a two-day visit to Gwagwalada, long queues of students and others waiting for the buses that would take them from the mini campus to the main campus.
Upon speaking to them, it was revealed that they often have to wait in line for the buses to arrive and transport them to the main campus. The only other alternative to the long wait is to patronize public transport.
One of the students, who requested anonymity, said the buses come at intervals and thus the intended passengers would have to wait in line until the next time the bus is scheduled to come.
The problem with that, he said, is that there are too few buses to cater to the large number of people who need the service and because of that, the intervals are too far apart.
Another student, who also did not want to be named, said they usually queue up like that for a long time, waiting for the next bus scheduled to come because it is cheaper than public transport. She said the trip costs N100 on the bus but using public transport would cost N300.
She described the wait as extremely inconvenient and stressful.
A third student, who also refused to disclose his name, said he is a recent graduate of the University and the queues have been in existence since he was in his first year as an undergraduate.
He said he had always wondered why they have to wait in line for so long, describing it as very frustrating.
The spokesperson for the university, Dr. Habib Yakoob, however said the queues are not regular occurence. He attributed it to a number of factors.
“It’s not a regular occurrence. It could be as a result of maybe two or three reasons. First, there is an ongoing examination, so it’s possible that more people are coming from that mini campus.
“And then the second one is that maybe at the time you were there, so many of the vehicles had already left. You know they have time periods for these things, so on the time table if it says the bus will leave at 7 and the bus waits till 7 then leaves, people that come after 7 will have to wait, and that can be another reason,” he said.
Dr. Yakoob also said that students are not the only ones who use the buses, adding that some staff members take advantage of the availability of the buses by boarding them alongside the students.
He said the buses in the school are sufficient for the students and staff that use the service.
“I would say that the buses are enough. I’m actually shocked that you said the queues were so long because sometimes we even have buses that go there and don’t even find passengers to pick.
“I wouldn’t really say it’s as a result of the inadequacy or insufficiency of the buses. We have almost 10 buses on the main campus,” he said.