Nigerian College Students Aspire to Create Book Exchange Program; Universities in Dire Need

(L) Timilehin Ogunyemi and (R) Perfect Makanju  are both college seniors at OAU. Photo/Timilehin Ogunyemi

It is no secret that attending Nigerian universities can be difficult. With the advent of fuel subsidy removal and the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, announcing over 40 million Nigerian students would re-enact the Occupy Nigeria protest against the removal of the subsidy from petroleum product last week, the outlook for continued university level education in the country continues to look bleak. This downward outlook is not helped by the epileptic power supply, specifically in universities where students are forced on many occasions to complete projects using a kerosene lamp!

It is astounding to see students do their best to overcome these adversities to gain their certificates and/or degrees. More astounding are those students who strive to get their degrees and pay it forward, 21-year-old Timilehin (Timi) Ogunyemi and his mate 20-year-old Perfect Makanju are college seniors and have got one more semester before they finish with Uni. But before they are done, Timi and Perfect decided to create an online platform to potentially form a book renting/exchange program for college students just like them.

Students sit in protest during a mass demonstration on the steps of Jameson Hall at the University of Cape Town, October 22, 2015. South Africa's President Jacob Zuma said on Thursday he will meet student leaders and university authorities on Friday to discuss planned hikes in tuition fees that have sparked a week of nationwide protests, some of which have turned violent. REUTERS/Mark Wessels TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTS5OBK

Timi says, “yea, we are planning to build a platform where people can share their books(hardcopy/pdf) with people around them and make money from it. So they simply indicate the books they have in their personal library and location, so anyone interested in any of the books in that environment can indicate, whether to buy, rent, or exchange the book, and we deliver.”

You might recognize Timi from the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State he is part of a group of rising “tech boys“, and was chosen to compete in the international World Robotics Olympiad in Qatar, in November 2015.

IMG_1431 (2)
iLABROC team from left to right: Timilehin Ogunyemi (Participant) 400 level, Obasegun Ayodele (Coach) 500 level, Victor Shoaga (Participant) 400 level.

Timi and Perfect are starting their book program with an easy 2-5 minute survey, once the survey data is collected they want to extrapolate the data to see if they can create a program so no student has to go without a book. The duo is hoping they can get people not only in Nigeria but in the global community to invest in the program.

“Would you be willing to donate your old book to charity?,” reads one of the survey questions, I know I would, especially since it is just sitting home collecting dust anyway.

Obafemi Awolowo University
Obafemi Awolowo University

So, take the survey, and Timi and Perfect thank you in advance.

Book Ownership and Renting Survey:

Click the link to the survey here, survey completion takes five minutes or less.