The Lagos State Government has signed a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement with a private developer to deliver 8,272 hostel units for Lagos State University (LASU) students.
The agreement, signed with six private property developers in Lagos, would ensure the delivery of the hostel within 18 months.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the building of the hostel was strategic, as it would have a positive impact on the lives of students.
The governor noted that with the agreement, LASU was set to become a residential tertiary institution, 36 years after it was established.
Sanwo-Olu said that the development further underscored his administration’s objective of driving up quality output across the state-owned schools, through the provision of infrastructure critical to facilitating better-quality teaching and learning.
The governor said that when LASU changed its status to a residential institution, there would be an improvement in students’ academic performance.
According to him, the residential status will also make the school move up in its global rating.
“We have just approved an investment that will not only provide comfort to students but also make a positive impact on the future of our youths.
“`If we agree that the youth are tomorrow’s leaders, we should not pay lip service to things that will mentally prepare them for the future.
“It is only when we make investments like this in citadels of learning, such as Lagos State University and other higher institutions, that we can help the youth activate the tomorrow they desire.
“The partnership we just sealed with the six private investors is strategic because it is going to strengthen our capacity as a government to scale up education quality and bring about improved academic performance of students.
“It will also help LASU in terms of global rating and outlook. We are using this model as a test case, which governments from other parts of the country will come and emulate.
“I believe we can deliver on this project and set a precedent that will change the course of tertiary education for good,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu urged the developers not to default the agreement deadline nor deviate from the terms of the agreement.
He said that the state government would monitor the development of the Halls of Residence at every stage of their construction to ensure compliance with the agreement.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, said that the governor had created a legacy that would outlive him with the approval of the BOT agreement.
Wahab said that the deal, which would lead to the construction of six blocks of halls of residence, was wrapped under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy of the state, while the concessions would run for 35 years.
He said that when the private developers deliver the projects in 2021, it was expected that 30 per cent of the school’s 26,000 student-population would be served.
According to him, it will reduce the pressure from oversubscription of privately owned off-campus residences.
He disclosed that the six concessionaires were selected through a transparent bidding procedure fully handled by a reputable management-consulting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
“Today’s signing of the agreement speaks to the heart of the Sanwo-Olu administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S agenda, which takes the provision of quality education as a fundamental pillar.
“All we have just done is to provide the infrastructure that will make the campuses of our tertiary institutions’ habitable place for our students.
“By this agreement, we have just made huge positive impacts on the 26,000 LASU students, who regularly face needless pressure in securing scarce off-campus accommodation,” Wahab said.
LASU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, said that the Plan to build hostels for the institution was significant.
Fagbohun said that the agreement would radically change the landscape of the institution.
The contractors will move fully to site in January and the project will be completed by the middle of 2021.
The concessionaires are Costa Del Sol Ltd, Seamless Integrated Ltd, Aircom Nigeria Ltd, Clay Hall Ltd, First Investment Development Company Ltd and Advent Integrated Services Ltd.
By our correspondent