The Honorable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, says Ahmadu Bello University can bring to an end its acute shortage of students accommodation by taking advantage of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) to rehabilitate and built more students hotels.
Speaking when she received the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Kabir Bala and his Management team in her office at the weekend, the Minister said it would be easier for investors to build hostels, lecture theatres and other infrastructure given the availability of institution’s huge expense of lands.
The Minister, who disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Education had allowed the intervention of Public Private Partnership for the rehabilitation and construction of students hostels in tertiary institutions, also said the investors would be willing to come when the designs for such projects were produced.
Ahmed, who commended the Vice-Chancellor for assembling the right caliber of persons to help him run the institution, said mortgage institutions such as Family Homes could be of tremendous assistance in identifying the right partners for such projects.
The Minister urged the Vice-Chancellor to equally take the advantage of the institution’s strong alumni to meet all its infrastructure and other essential needs.
“You have ABU alumni all over the country and even beyond. In fact, they are everywhere; we have 14 ABU alumni at the Federal Executive Council.
“We also have a good number of them at the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation; I want to encourage you to take this advantage to improve the lot of the University,” she said.
The Minister also advised that the University should prioritize its needs by selecting the facilities that required urgent renovation and rehabilitation, and with that the alumni could come in and give their support.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kabir Bala, had earlier told the Minister that Ahmadu Bello University had grown so large that it needed the support of its stakeholders, especially its willing alumni all the country.
Prof. Bala said with more than 50,000 students and huge number of staff the University ultimately needed to expand and upgrade its facilities to help improve teaching and learning.
“We need to do a lot for the University in terms of roads, hostels, lecture theatres and other infrastructure. But funding remains our major challenge at the moment, hence our decision to reach out to our major stakeholders like you who is wearing two caps in this regard: as an alumnus of the University and as Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, for support,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, who expressed gratitude to the Minister for the audience granted him and his Management team, reiterated his administration’s determination to upgrade all research laboratories in the University.
Those on the Vice-Chancellor’s entourage included the Registrar, Malam Abdullahi Ahmed Kundila; Director, Directorate of Academic Planning and Monitoring, Prof. Yahaya Makarfi Ibrahim; Director, Directorate of University Advancement, Prof. Ahmed Doko Ibrahim; Dean of Engineering, Prof. Abubakar Ismail and Ag. Director, Public Affairs Directorate, Malam Auwalu Umar.