...Redifining Journalism for Development

Students of FUT Minna and the culture of long queues, by Amrah Aliyu


When you hear the word queue you probably be wearing a frown on your face thinking about ATMs, traffics or government hospitals.

Waiting lines and waiting areas can be so annoying and tiring especially when one is running late. 

That is the case in Federal University of Technology, Minna.

The first contact with queuing up in FUTMINNA happens right from onset as a jambito or a Newbie.

Coming in to school as a first year student all cleaned up, smelling nice and stuff until it dawns on you that you’ll have to come back the next day after standing under the sun for 5 hours, now its late and just when you thought it will soon get to your turn, this happens, so tomorrow you’ll have to wake up a little earlier to join the queue at the bus park first then the one in gidan kwanu and then maybe, just maybe, you’d get a chance to queue up at the clinic for your medical test and then queue up again to submit the green file – yes that green file – and then again and again for other things then again at the 1km bus park queue because you have to go back to Bosso.

 The effects of long waiting lines can be extremely disruptive.

Even though the Clinic start attending to students at 8:00 am, students begin queuing from 5:00 and by 6:30, the line is soo long.

The situation grows desperate that some students skip baths or sleep in gk to get it done.

 Despite the fact that students come out to join cues early in the bus park they still don’t get to school on time or get late for their classes.

Long queues greet them as soon as they get to the bus park, at the school’s ATM, at the convocation square, at the clinic, at the senate building, at the dean’s office, at the level advisers office… You name it. Their lives are already filled up with long queues and wait times they lament bitterly.

  *Scene 1*

The core problem lies in queue management and shortage of busses to convey students from Bosso campus to its main campus in gidan kwanu, some of them who say spend hours in the bus park and sometimes even miss their classes or arrive late courtesy of long queues and waiting for busses to come all the way from gk to pick them up is frustrating.

Enough grievances and more by the students who plead with the school management to remedy the situation.

While some students fall prey to long queues others go as far as taking a lift from heavy duty trucks, or climb on the back of the local’s lorry just to get to their destination on time.

 I caught up with some of the students who were in the back of a lorry who shared their grievances, they said it’s frustrating to wait, they have been waiting for close to two hours for a bus to come from Bosso to take them back home but to no avail and the queue is so long so they had no other means but to beg to climb on the back of the lorry. 

 *Scene 2*

In all of this there is that category set of students who do not follow the school bus but follow commercial vehicles in town but still they are not free too because commercial owners are not allowed inside the school so they’ll have to queue up again in front of school to get another cab to get in to school

*Scene 3* 

Just like customers in a restaurant or in a bank, students want a fast, seamless service that requires as little input from them as possible.

Speaking with some security men in charge of the bus park who said they are having their own fair share of stress due to the student’s inability to cooperate with them, sometimes they want to shunt to enter the bus but they have to ensure orderliness so they stop such act.

According to the bus drivers who said driving all the way from gk to Bosso empty is almost impossible due to the cost of fuel, they can only wait for when students board and leave when it’s filled up.

As far as students see queuing up as disruptive, time consuming and unnecessary, there will always be chaos. Queuing up is a bad experience on its own but when you couple it with the ticking time of SLM lecture you’ll have to catch up with , where you’d have to meet up 75% attendance before you are qualified to write the exam and being late is equivalent to being absent now that is a recipe for suicidal thoughts.

Long queues are a huge problem especially when people have something to do other than wait, but it’s not a problem that cannot be solved.

 Queue management system can pinpoint the lacking area.

However since students these days are attached to their mobile phones and run to it for almost everything from handouts, to passed questions to projects. 

Schools should take in to account another aspect of communication using the mobile phones.

The inclusion of mobile queuing should be an option to opt in for taking advantage of mobile queuing can improve queuing, and encourage service feedback, also providing more buses can improve long queues and wait times.

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