Audit (4): How Well Has The House Secretary Secured The House?

By: Sonaike Peter


When a political candidate vies for a post, he comes with a few or a number of plans, presenting them to those he is to represent. After winning the election, those who put him in that position of authority expect him to bring these plans to reality. In this edition of audits, we will be assessing the administrative performance of the House Secretary of the Great Independence Hall, Adediran David.

The first point of his manifesto is focused on the management of the hall’s property inventory through the creation of an inventory list to present a clear-cut direction on the total number of things to be monitored. Of course, this plan is a great one, but when it comes to its implementation, the house secretary has not delivered well, as the hall property has been ill-managed without adequate measures taken to rectify it. Backing this up with an example, since last semester, one of the wall sockets in the reading room situated at A block got spoilt, and up until now, it has not been repaired. What use then is an inventory if it does not seem to chronicle damaged fixtures in the hall and if it already has, leaves them for so long that inconvenience from that damage is still suffered anyway.

Looking at the second item on his manifesto, which is improving the state of the JCR through the provision of two additional fans for ventilation and curtains for the protection of the room from sun rays. Considering the aspect of implementation, while the curtains have been provided, the House Secretary did not provide the fans as promised. When asked, he said the reason was that after a month of his administration, he got to know that the JCR would be renovated by the alumni with the inclusion of air conditioners. Of course, Mr. Adediran can be excused on this.

Moving on to his third plan, the House Secretary promised to increase the number of poles for spreading clothes. This is because some of the poles are old and too weak to hold ropes. According to him, this plan could not be achieved because, on getting to market to buy these poles, they had become expensive. Taking a critical look at the excuse, it seems the House Secretary was non-chalant to anticipate what his office would be faced with if elected. The fact that the poles are expensive is not an excuse because he indicated in the manifesto that his plans are cost-effective and he would be able to implement them through sponsorship.

But in the real sense, how much sponsorship does one really need to get a few poles and lines for Katangites to spread their clothes?

Did he not have a budget? Why did he not include it in his budget? Politicians prefer to hide under the “sponsorship” clause, but how many of them actually genuine plans to source for sponsorship?

As for the fourth point on his manifesto, the House Secretary deserves some credit. The plan was to ensure the functionality of the idle water tanks on the other side of Block C so as to reduce the burden and rate of use on the functional one while concurrently serving C-blockites, laundry workers, and residents of Idia village. On this note, there has been the installation of a new pumping machine at Block C. But one big issue that lies in the heart of many Katangites is the many unused tanks in the hall.

A lot of tanks lay idle in the hall, and very little has been done to ensure that these tanks keep working, and this is a recurrent problem across the four blocks. If we have up to 70% of the tanks in Independence Hall functioning, then the issue of water scarcity would be solved.

Next is the fifth plan. The fifth plan is concerned with regular assessments of property management processes and resident satisfaction in the form of surveys. The House Secretary did not go about this plan as laid out in his manifesto; he went ahead to seek feedback and ideas from his committees. Logically, this approach was not effective as it did not represent the popular opinion of the residents. When asked about the rationale behind the approach, he stated it was due to the fact that students’s responses to online surveys have always been low.

The sixth plan, which is to build a maintenance culture by working with public relations officers through regular sensitization and awareness, was implemented but yielded little results. There are some Katangites who mismanage the hall’s facilities e.g. the toilets, their rooms, and other equipment, to mention a few. Perhaps a better way to achieve results would have been to work with the hall management to sanction violators.

On his seventh plan, he promised to foster a sense of community among the residents and influence them to engage in community service. For example, working with the health commissioner to mobilize volunteers among katangites to ensure the periodic washing of tanks. In a bid to verify, when asked, if he truly carried out the plan, the health commissioner gave a positive remark.

The eighth plan is open to a lot of criticism, as the opposite is what we are experiencing in the hall today. The plan deals with the inhibition of the pasting of stickers on the wall, which, if not conformed to, will be followed by immediate removal. But as it is today, the hall has been badly defaced by  the stickers of political candidates vying for posts without being made to face the penalty, even though the notice boards are functional. He attributed his failure to remove all these stickers to the absence of the Administrator-General’s approval.

Welfare Plan

The House secretary, in his manifesto, promised to organize a personal development workshop and will, in the course of this, invite guest speakers from various fields to educate katangites on time management, stress reduction techniques, leadership skills, and financial literacy. This plan is still wishful thinking as it has not been accomplished. When asked why the plan had not been carried out, he attributed it to the unfortunate events experienced by the executives. When asked if Katangites should still expect the workshop program, he decided to reserve his comment on that.

Also, he promised that he was going to liaise with other executives to organize study groups, teaching sessions and academic databases. Having verified how this plan was implemented from the Secretary of State, the House Secretary did indeed send an academic drive folder to some Katangites in the first semester.

In conclusion, from the evaluation of his performance, one can infer that the House Secretary has not been able to accomplish most of his plans. One reason is that the House Secretary is not able to secure sponsorship. And this has been common in the administration of student leaders. It is very important that the House Secretary understand that Katangites put him into that office to represent their interests, and it will show a high level of ineptitude if he continues to misrepresent them by not bringing to reality his unaccomplished plans. Though the semester is coming to an end, there is still room for improvement. The House Secretary must therefore reawaken to the responsibility of keeping to the terms of his social contract with Katagites because they deserve no less than quality representation.

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