18th August, 2020
By Perpetua Onuegbu
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola has underscored the need for Nigerian Universities to provide well structured plans on the creation of infrastructure in their campuses to woo investors.
He made this assertion when the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities led by it’s Secretary General, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, investors want to be sure of the returns on their investments.
“When we talk about money, I say to people what is the plan, because if there is a good plan money will follow.
“This PPP initiative we are talking about, what is the plan? why can’t we have a plan, let us start off with hostels, students are paying something or the other but is there a structured plan to ensure that there is land.
“We need to make sure that the land is safe, to do a survey about students willingness to pay.
“What is the average size of rooms available, what is the comparative market cost, transport cost that you save if you live in that hostel.
“Those are the things investors are looking for, how long are the academy years and what kind of guarantee you give the investor that the school will not be broken by one strike or the other, ” Fashola said.
He noted that these were the issues that the association must resolve before looking for investors.
He assured the association of his support and collaboration, adding that there are too many things for the universities to do.
He said the world is evolving with data and the data was sitting in the universities.
Fashola called on the vice Chancellors to put these data into a useful form to improve the government and businesses.
He also advised the association to check the award of honorary degree to individuals because of their political position but that such awards should be given to people because of their impactful contribution to nation building.
Fashola said in this way youths could be inspired to be solution creators and problem solvers.
“The creation of universities is for an investment into the future.
Earlier, the Secretary General of the association, Prof. Yabuku Ochefu commended the minister for the building roads in nation’s university campuses.
We have followed very keenly the work that you have done since you became minister, especially as it affects Nigerian universities and we do know that the single purpose that your drive the whole process of constructing roads in our universities.
“The vice Chancellors were very elated that for the first time we saw the presence of the Federal Government through the ministry of works activitively in fixing roads in the universities.
“We know that with the way you are working you will definitely do more for the universities.
“We also know that universities are looking for public private partnerships; creating funds for infrastructure is one of your strong points.
“We will also like to engage you to share ideas and experiences with the aim of creating funds for infrastructure projects in the universities.
“To the specific aspect of CVC at 60, it was important to put together a compendium to celebrate the occasion and believe that your contribution to it will be very useful as once you had been a visitor to the Lagos State University.
“Also as a governnor of Lagos State and how you turned around the university we want you to share your ideas with us in the compendium.
Ochefu also disclosed that the association had come up with a version of the History of Nigeria to be used in all schools nationwide.
The association was established in October 1962 as a clearing house for all universities to share knowledge and experience and promote best academic practices.