From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi
The strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Nationwide has damping economic and social activities in communities around the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi,
Our correspondent who visited the polytechnic campus, the environment was overgrown with grasses with palpable threats from reptiles and other dangerous animals.
So also lecture halls have begun to wear cracks due to lack of activities while streets were unkempt.
The strike had already paralysing the economy of the communities around the polytechnic area especially the small scale entrepreneurs.
As a great number of the members of such communities engage in petty trading within and around the campuses to sustain their livelihood
Travelling that with the establishment of Federal Polytechnic in Bauchi, landlords began a boom in property business within and around communities such as Gwalameji, Rafin Zurfi and Yelwa as a lot of the University and polytechnic students prefer to stay in rented apartment off campus.
This development is occasioned by the building of room and parlour homes popularly known as “self -contain” and students hostels built by indigenes and civil servants.
Alhaji Faruk Dahiru , owner of a 20-flats of one room apartments occupied by students, said an apartment in his property goes for between N50,000 to N100,000.
He said business is at its peak when students return for new sessions adding that with the recent strike, life has not been easy for some of his tenants’ rent had expired in February and he cannot rent the apartments out as the tenant’s properties are still in the rooms.
“Through the students, landlords generate a lot of income in order to invest for the future. Some of our children who are coming from poor homes and want to be educated, are engaged by the University and polytechnic students to render them services ranging from car wash, laundry, housekeeping etc”
“It is from such menial works they do that some of them sponsor their education. If the strike continues, it can affect the future of our children who now sit at home or gather at joints to discuss issues that may not add value to their lives because they are idle”.
The worst hits are food vendors whose customers are mostly students. A middle aged woman, who simply identified herself as Madam Veronica and runs a restaurant outside the polytechnic, said she and her family chose to live in Rafin Zurfi because of the business she runs outside the polytechnic.