FG to spend N98bn on student’s hostels as TETFUND partner Africa Plus Partners

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By Ogenyi Ogenyi,Uyo

The Federal Government has said it has earmarked N98.2bn for the provision of mordern 1,600 bed capacity hostels for students in tertiary institutions across the country this year.

Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy Mr Wale Edun made this known during the foundation laying for a 1,600 bed capacity hostel initiated by African Plus Partners in partnership with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, at the Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpadem, Mkpat Enin Local Council of the state yesterday.

Edun who was represented by his permanent Secretary Mr Udo Ekanem said the project which would be replicated in 36 tertiary institutions across the six geo political zones of the country is aimed at tackling deficit in hostel accommodation for students inorder to improve reading and learning culture amongst them.

The Minister commended Governor Umo Eno for his committment to educational advancement in the state and lauded the partnership between Family Plus Partners and TETFUND that has led to the initiative.

He appealed for support for President Bola Tinubu in his quest to lay a strong foundation for the development of Nigeria especially in education by helping students to grow in innovation and creativity.

In a remark at the occasion, Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Arch Sonny Echono said the Fund would spend N72bn for the building of mordern hostels in tertiary institutions across the country in the next two years.

Echono applauded it’s partners in the project, African Plus Partners and Family Home Funds for their committment and drive towards providing condusive residence for undergraduates to boost innovative learning and research.

The Executive Secretary, commended successive Governors of the state for effective partnership with the Federal Government and promised that more of such projects would be done in the institution as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

The Fund the Executive Secretary said would intervene in 36 hostels in higher institutions in Nigeria this year with N24bn and would double the funding next year,providing N1bn for those involving Public Private Partnership ,PPP, collaborations and N0.5bn for those without PPP.

Also in a remark, Governor Umo Eno who was represented by Education Commissioner Mrs Idongesit Etiebet commended the initiators of the hostel project for their efforts meant to boost learning environment for students.

Eno who maintained that the measure of growth of any society is represented by investment in education said the state government has continued to pay deep attention especially to education at the foundation level to enable students develope their potentials early enough.

The state government, the Governor said has been working in meeting the challenges of the state owned higher institutions by making investment in infrastructure and paying bursary to indegenous students in all public tertiary institutions across the country while education has continued to enjoy critical recognition in his administration’s ARISE Agenda.
Vice Chancellor of Akwa Ibom State University, Prof Nse Essien in his speech regretted that lack of suitable accomodation has affected the living conditions of students, posed a security threat to them while candidates have continued to prefer other institutions that provide accomodation as their first choice, denying the school the opportunity to admit students to fill their carrying capacity.

“This challenge has also given competing institutions an edge over us irrespective of the fact that our academic standard and facilities are one of the best in Nigeria.

“This new facility will not only address the critical need for student accomodation but will foster a stronger sense of community and belonging among our students and also create opportunities that would be beneficial to the host community.”Essien said.

Managing Director of Africa Plus Partners Mr Adeniran Ajakaiye in his introductory remark said the company initiated the project when it discovered that gap in hostel accommodation in Nigeria has been in excess of 80%.

This Ajakaiye said constituted danger to the students because such conditions could not offer them adequate protection and a good reading and learning culture and environment.

“And that is why we at African Plus Partners have carefully curated an accommodation scheme to cater to approximately 40,000 students in tertiary institutions across the country and this is in tandem with our desire to enable students focus on reading than living.”The MD said.

The first pilot phase of the project the MD said would involve 24 higher institutions across the country constituting of 1,600 bed capacity hostels with 800 bed capacity for males and 800 bed capacity for females.

The hostel he explained would further consist of 32 reading rooms, common rooms,cafeteria and restaurants, laundromat, 200 car parking space, grocery shops, salons with the rooms equipped with personal wardrobes,ensuite bathroom,24/7 site support, access control and 24 hour security and surveillance.

Managing Director of Family Homes Fund, Abdul Mukhtar while giving an overview of the project said he felt fulfilled and expressed joy that the University would be the first state owned institution to benefit from the initiative

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