James Ojo Adakole
Thirty-six years after it was established, the Lagos State University (LASU) is to become a residential tertiary institution, following the signing of an agreement between the state government and six private property developers, who are to deliver 8,272 units of hostel accommodation on the school campus in the next 18 months, on build, operate and transfer (BOT) arrangement.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu approved the BOT agreement at a short ceremony held at the Lagos House in Marina on Friday evening. The deal, which will lead to the construction of six blocks of halls of residence, was wrapped under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy of the state. The concessions will run for 35 years.
When the private developers deliver the projects in 2021, it is expected that 30 per cent of the school’s 26,000 student-population would be served, thereby reducing the pressure resulting from over subscription of privately owned off-campus residences.
After signing the agreement, Gov. Sanwo-Olu said the development further underscored his administration’s objective of driving up quality output across the state-owned schools through provision of infrastructure critical to facilitating better-quality teaching and learning.
When LASU changes its status to a residential institution, Sanwo-Olu said there would be improvement in students’ academic performance, while the school would also move up in its global rating.
He said: “We have just approved an investment that will not only provide comfort to students, but also make positive impact on the future of our youths. If we agree that the youth are tomorrow’s leaders, we should not pay lip service to things that will mentally prepare them for the future. It is only when we make investments like this in citadels of learning, such as Lagos State University and other higher institutions, that we can help the youth activate the tomorrow they desire.
“The partnership we just sealed with the six private investors is strategic, because it is going to strengthen our capacity as a government to scale up education quality and bring about improved academic performance of students.