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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
Graduate, Nigeria.

The policy of no cooking in some private institutions in the country is currently causing ripples among students who appealed to authorities concerned to have a rethink.

Undergraduates in private universities are threatened with suspension if caught cooking in their hostels or with any cooking utensils.

A student from the Bingham University, Karu, Abuja said they eat half-cooked noodles covertly in their hostels.
She said, “ I boil the noodles in an electric kettle then I sieve the water and pour the noodles in a plate half cooked, add seasoning, stir and eat”. She added that the electric kettle was smuggled as such gadgets are referred to as contraband.

Another student from Fountain University explained how she toasts bread, she said,” I wrap the bread in paper and use a pressing iron to get the toast effect, and sometimes, the paper gets sticky so we have to use water to peel it off”.
These students have long jettisoned the health implications of these practices and it is certain that even if they have had health complications due to these, it will be counted as nothing.

From the comments gathered, these practices by these students result in health hazards. Medical personnel has outlined the dangers of consuming half-cooked food and the dangers associated with the consumption of chemically processed foods. If no attention is paid to this regard, we would have a multitude of malnourished and sick undergraduates.

Meanwhile, in public varsities where there are no prohibitions as regards cooking, the spaces provided are oftentimes too small and choky.

Most students in federal and state-owned universities complained that the school’s kitchen is relatively small and dirty while some do not have at all, making them cook in their hostels.

A student from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra told the Guardian that she was forced to rent an apartment off-campus because of the poor state of the kitchen and the insistence by university officials that students must use the kitchen.

She said, ‘’the kitchen was very small and always dirty and as a new student, I did not want to adjust to such a lifestyle’’.

Another student, Pearl Adebayo from the University of Benin, Benin city, told the Guardian that the kitchen has been long been abandoned as it is suspected to have been infested with rats while the institution’s annex campus has no kitchen.
’we cook in our rooms and this is not so conducive for all of us as the smoke from the cooking stove, chokes’’.

They argued that the policy of no cooking and the underhand moves by students to counter this move pose a great risk to their health as students by their activities are exposed to many avoidable accidents, which may result in death.

Besides, some students noted that the prohibitory policies of cooking in private universities is already taking its toll on them as many of their colleagues find it hard to cook as they are deprived of the opportunity to explore, learn and display their culinary skills.

Recently, Fountain University introduced a cooking competition to help the students practice and showcase their culinary skills, once in a session but most students do not take part in it, which kills the main motive of the competition.

Ummu Lawal from Fountain University said; “the university management should come up with a system to allow students of the school cook, even if it is under strict supervision’’.

Fatima Aliy from Crescent University said; “ the policy is really affecting us as some of us do not know how to cook and this should be the time when we are supposed to learn how to do these things, the university management should do something to make this better.’’

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