FG set to build student hostels in 36 tertiary institutions

By Innocent Raphael

The Federal Government has revealed its intentions to construct student hostels in 36 tertiary institutions across Nigeria, with a commitment to expand this initiative after the initial phase is completed.

Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), announced this during a meeting with the new leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), led by President Lucky Emonefe.

In a statement released on Wednesday by TETFund’s Director of Public Affairs, AbdulMumin Oniyangi, Echono emphasized an increased allocation for maintaining TETFund infrastructures for over five years in the 2024 intervention cycle.

Furthermore, he pledged to address the condition of the NANS secretariat and involve the student body in jointly monitoring projects in beneficiary institutions.

Recognizing the housing challenges faced by students in higher institutions, Echono highlighted the government’s policy initiative to ensure that 50 to 60 percent of students reside on campus. The aim is to provide robust buildings that meet international standards.

“As I speak, this year, we shall be providing hostels for students in 36 tertiary institutions across the country.

“We realise that some of the places where our students live are very deplorable. And only about 15 percent of our students are staying on campus. Many of them are living outside campus, and some of them can’t even come back for evening lectures because of the cost and the trouble of walking all the way and coming back. There is also a security situation in their areas.

“So we have a policy to ensure that as much as possible, we will do the minimum of 50 to 60 percent of our students to live on campus. And provide those hostels. And those hostels will not be match boxes and shanties.

“They will be solid buildings that can attract other students from anywhere in the world to compare with what other people enjoy when they leave Nigeria.” Echono stated.

He encouraged students to utilize TETFund’s digital services platform, the Tertiary Education Research, Applications, and Services, to access educational resources and research materials.

He further mentioned that various services, including sponsored mobile internet access, EagleScan for plagiarism detection, aggregated journal and research subscriptions such as EBSCO, Blackboard Learning Management System, digital literacy support, and intervention funding, are accessible to both public and private tertiary institutions across the country.

NANS President, Emonefe in his remarks expressed appreciation for TETFund’s 2024 budget and the new Students’ Loan Bill currently under consideration by the National Assembly.

He lauded President Bola Tinubu for his dedication to education and extended gratitude to Echono for backing the bill during a recent public hearing.

Emonefe affirmed, “We are steadfast in our commitment. We will work alongside you to ensure the success of these significant projects being facilitated by TETFund in our tertiary institutions.”

“On our part, we are going to monitor, supervise, and protect education infrastructure to complement the efforts of what Mr. President and TETFund is doing.”

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