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Prostitution is a very fast rising abnormality in our tertiary institutions nowadays especially amongst the female gender and it has been rebranded and given a smooth name "hook up".

Prostitution is a very fast rising abnormality in our tertiary institutions nowadays especially amongst the female gender and it has been rebranded and given a smooth name “hook up”.

However, with the ailing economy and the coronavirus pandemic causing global job loss, prostitution among students on campus has taken a new dimension.

Some students with lack of financial support from parents and guardians see ‘hook up’ as a means of generating funds for their upkeep.

According to statistics, many workers lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic on businesses in the country is terrible.

Businesses recorded a decline in revenue, they also complained of higher costs of production. Only a few in the utilities, financial and health sectors reported gains from the previous year.

The nation’s economy was hard hit by the fall in oil prices following disruptions caused by the pandemic. The country relies on crude exports for around 70 per cent of government revenue.

The Director-General, International Labour Organisation, Guy Ryder, said recently:”Recovery from COVID-19 is not just a health issue. The serious damage to economies and societies needs to be overcome, too. Without a deliberate effort to accelerate the creation of decent jobs, and support the most vulnerable members of society and the recovery of the hardest-hit economic sectors, the lingering effects of the pandemic could be with us for years in the form of lost human and economic potential and higher poverty and inequality.

“We need a comprehensive and co-ordinated strategy, based on human-centred policies, and backed by action and funding. There can be no real recovery without a recovery of decent jobs.”

Many times, students flood their social media handles with hook up updates, confidently and comfortably flaunting obscene pictures and videos to entice the opposite sex to subscribe to their channels.

Gone are the days when young ladies hung out on highways, bars, and clubs, awaiting men to engage them sexually, either for money or other needs. Youths, especially students, now book appointments with the opposite sex, lecturers, politicians, and others in the comfort of their homes.

Due to the increasing number of young women engaging in such practice, there has emerged a new job ‘Hook up Managers’, who scout for ladies and connect them with men on demand.

Observers think that the rise in prostitution in tertiary institutions is the product of a new lifestyle and a modern world. Others point to the materialistic tendencies of the society. But students see it as an avenue for brisk business and survival in the face of grinding poverty and want.

According to Gabriel Alison, a 400-Level student of the Department of Mass Communication, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti(FUOYE), most students who participate in the act do it for monetary gain.

He said: “Many of them love to live an extravagant lifestyle on campus and they need funds, while others need mere financial support for academic purpose as their parents cannot afford their basic needs.”

He noted that some of the implications of the social vice included lack of academic focus, unexpected pregnancy, and falling prey to ritualists.

READ ALSO : 5 Things Undergraduates Students Should Do During Strikes/Vacations

Alison applauded some tertiary institutions’ Guidance and Counselling Departments for their efforts in sensitising students against the viral practice, adding that more efforts should be channelled to eradicate it.

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“Many schools have Guidance and Counselling Department which, from time to time, organise seminars, campaigns and publicity, to discourage the act among students,” he said.

Sunday Afolabi of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) observed hook up from another perspective. According to him, many people believe that poverty is the major reason ladies, especially students, engage in it. However, some students have their basic needs, yet they still indulge in such as a result of greed.

“They sell their bodies for money to portray a flashy and obtrusive lifestyle by buying designer shoes and bags and using the latest smartphone. Undoubtedly, greed and peer pressure also contribute to it as well,” he said.

While describing its consequences as disastrous and destructive, he craved more grants and scholarships for tertiary institution students to stem the tide.

“As we all know, every action has its consequences, those engaging in this act are exposing themselves to sexual violence, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections.

“To stem the tide, some institutions should give scholarships to students who are experiencing financial hardship and create awareness to discourage this act as well,” he said.

Okon Joel, a 400-Level student of Geology, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, noted that desperation and the urge to belong were part of the causes of ‘hook up’.

He said: “For me, it’s the urge to belong that’s causing the rise in ‘hook up’ in tertiary institutions. Some ladies want to feel among, they want their presence to be felt, they want to have their names on the lips of every passerby, without having to think of the repercussion.

“This can be likened to ‘peer pressure’ and its influence. Some people have caged themselves in friendships that make them find it difficult to decipher what’s good or bad. Since it can satisfy their cravings, they’re in for it and can go the extra mile to get what they want.

Desperation is not left out; that urge to live large and be seen as such has turned many into something else. They want to oppress any and everybody.”

Joel, who described hook up eradication as a gradual process, said: “I would say the institution (FUOYE) has always cautioned against such practice, through organising sensitisation programmes, displaying banners and stickers at strategic places that talk about social vices and the need to be cautious, especially as it relates to prostitution. I’m sure the authorities of various campuses are aware of the recent trend and would work towards curbing it. Mind you, to get rid of this would take a lot of time. It’s a gradual process.”

For Makinde Damilola of the Department of English Education, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko (AAUA), ‘hook up’ is an advanced form of prostitution, mostly caused by poverty.

According to her, many students engage in hook up due to financial difficulty.

READ ALSO : Ways to Make Money as a Nigerian Student

“I see it as an advanced form of prostitution. Some parents tend not to understand or care about what their wards are facing in school in terms of basic needs. So many lecturers and politicians in the name of helping out spoil the lives of young women. So many female students are pressurised into doing it. Female students tend to gain nothing because it is to their detriment. The so-called people in higher positions will have fun with them and still do the worse to them. It is pathetic!

“However, I am not sure and I don’t think institutions are making it a point of duty to stop this disgraceful act because it occurs at an alarming rate. It is no joke at all.”

Ayantoye Victoria, a 200-Level student of the Department of Law, University of Lagos, said: “This hook up of a thing has been a serious issue that young women adopt as a source of income and it has become worse to the point that guys are doing hook up for their sugar mommies and they are getting paid for it.

Her words: “There is a need for orientation of students, especially the female folk. Students must learn to embrace morals without compromise even in the face of adversities. Instead of degrading ourselves and reducing our worth, we should engage in productive ventures devoid of immorality.

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“There is nothing to gain in hook up. And I feel it is so hard to curb, especially in public and federal tertiary institutions.”

A 300-Level student of the Department of History and International Studies, Ebonyi State University, Ihuoma Blessing, said: “Sex has become cheap and easy to get from female students of higher institutions. They readily sell their bodies to anyone willing to pay good cash, buy designers, sponsor luxury vacations, buy human hair, buy the latest smartphones, needless to say, anyone willing to spoil them silly is in for a good treat.”

Meanwhile, another student, Oriyomi Bolade-John, said hook up is on the rise in tertiary institutions because the government has failed to offer survival opportunities to youths.

“Those who engage in hook up see it as a profitable source of livelihood.

“Some identifiable implications include increased rate of sexually transmitted diseases, high rate of academic failure; it could also give rise to vices like kidnapping, human trafficking, among others,” he said.

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