Dangote Builds N1.2 Billion Student Hostel for ABU
Africa’s richest man and Chairman of Aliko Dangote Foundation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, according to a statement on Sunday has donated a fully equipped 2,160-bed capacity hostel complex worth N1.2 billion to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
It said the new student hall of residence was inaugurated to commemorate the university’s 41st convocation, during which the university authorities reciprocated Dangote’s act of philanthropy by conferring on him an honorary doctorate degree.
The President of Dangote Group explained that he was moved to build the structure having realised that the student population had increased without a corresponding growth in terms of infrastructure.
He lamented that the situation had remained a major challenge as Nigerian public universities continued to grapple with underfunding.
“Thus, I would 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,” Dangote said.
Dangote noted that the Federal Government alone could not shoulder the entire burden of funding tertiary education due to the competing needs of other sectors.
He then urged the private sector to adopt a new approach towards supporting the Federal Government in tackling the funding deficit in the higher institutions of learning.
He said, “I strongly believe the private sector must go beyond just the payment of the two per cent education levy and be ready to join hands with states and the Federal Government in expanded funding for tertiary education in Nigeria. This will ensure that our institutions of higher learning are positioned to produce graduates who can transform this nation.
“If there are two things that I am passionate about, they are education and entrepreneurship. I believe they go hand in hand. Some years ago, as the chairman of the National Committee on Job Creation, my committee strived to fashion out strategies for integrating entrepreneurship into our national educational curriculum, in line with what obtains in the western world.”
While expressing his gratitude for the degree conferred on him, Dangote described ABU as “an institution famed for its incredibly thorough academic tradition, the quality of faculty, and the enriching experiences of life within its walls.”
“Our intervention is designed to lessen the plight of students who suffer acute accommodation challenges within the campus. We have brought similar intervention to University of Ibadan and Bayero University, Kano, among other institutions,” he added.