John Adams, Minna
Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has said that the hostel accommodation deficit faced by Nigerian higher institutions requires Public Private Partnership (PPP) solutions.
The Governor, who made the observation at the Ibrahim Babangida Badamosi University (IBBU) Lapai when he commissioned a 40 room hostel block at the university, said that a situation where higher institutions can only accommodate less than 10 percent of its student population calls for urgent attention.
The Governor, who was represented by the commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Dr Abubakar Baba Aliyu, argued that government alone cannot meet up with the growing demand for students hostel accommodations in higher institutions at both federal or state level.
“Therefore, there is need for private individuals and organisations to come and partner with our tertiary institutions to build hostels accommodation for students and recoup their money within a period of time,” said Aliyu, speaking on behalf of Governor Bello.
“This is the only way that I think we can address the accommodation deficits, and reduce the suffering of our children. Today, it’s only about 10 percent of the student population that are accommodated in our public universities and other tertiary institutions.”
According to the Governor, no meaningful learning can take place among students without conducive hostel accommodations, adding that the dehumanised conditions in which students find themselves as a result of the deficit was unacceptable.
The 40 room hostel, which is expected to accommodate about 120 students, was built by the Niger State Development Company (NSDC) under a Public Private Partnership arrangement with the university authority.
The hostel, which was built at the cost of N110 million under the PPP arrangement of build, operate and transfer within 25 years, is fully equipped with bed and mattresses, fans, 24 hour borehole water supply, a common kitchen and a general laundry with washing machine.
Speaking earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Mohammed Maitulare, said that the hostel accommodation was the first phase of interventions by the company, stressing discussion is ongoing between NSDC for more of such partnerships with a view to addressing the accommodation challenge facing the institution.