Moved by the soaring population of students in the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, at the weekend, donated a massive hostel valued at N1.2 billion. Dangote, Africa’s foremost businessman and Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), said the intervention was crucial to the educational sector when he donated the fully equipped 2,160-bed hostel to the school.
The students’ halls of residence comprising of 10 blocks of 360 rooms built at a colossal sum of N1.2bn is coming after similar gestures to the Bayero University, Kano (BUK) and the University of Ibadan (UI), where the business mogul donated multi-billion Naira business school complexes as part of his contribution to educational development in the country. The new students’ hall of residence was commissioned to commemorate the 41st convocation of the university during which the university authorities reciprocated the act of philanthropy by conferring on him an honourary doctorate.
Dangote explained that he was moved to build the structure having realised that the student population at the universities had recorded significant increase without corresponding growth in terms of infrastructure, lamenting that the situation had remained a subsisting and growing major challenge as Nigerian public universities continued to grapple with under-funding.
“Thus, I will like to use this opportunity to enjoin the Federal Government to consider allocating special funds to the universities to enable them to improve on research and upgrade their infrastructure. Such special intervention has become imperative given the perennial funding challenges facing our universities”, he stated.
Dangote posited that the Federal Government alone could not 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.