From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
The President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has called for expanded funding for tertiary education in Nigeria.
H stated this when he commissioned a 360 rooms hostel he built for Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, yesterday.
Alhaji Dangote lamented that, Nigerian public tertiary institutions, especially the universities have continued to grapple the challenge of underfunding.
Dangote who equally bagged the university’s Honorary Doctor of Letters at its 41st Convocation Ceremony on Saturday therefore called on the private sector to bridge the gap of underfunding of the universities.
He noted that, the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the entire burden of funding tertiary education due to competing needs of other sectors that also demand priority attention.
According to him, “the student population at our universities have recorded significant increase without a corresponding growth in terms of infrastructure. This is a subsisting and growing major challenge as Nigerian public universities continue to grapple with underfunding.
“We do acknowledge that, the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the entire burden of funding tertiary education due to competing needs of other sectors that also demand priority attention.
“This is where Public Private Partnership (PPP) can and should come in to fill the gap. I strongly believe the private sector must go beyond just the payment of 2 percent education levy and be ready to join hands with the state and federal governments in expanded funding for tertiary education in Nigeria.” He said.
Dangote explained further that, the partnership and intervention of the private sector will ensure that the institutions of higher learning are positioned to produce graduates who can transform Nigeria.
He explained that, it was against that background that, Dangote Foundation built 10 blocks of fully equipped accommodation complex with the capacity of hosting 2,160 students, at a cost of N1.2 billion.
Dangote pointed out that, the gesture was informed by his passion for education and entrepreneurship.