·… It’s a legacy that’ll outlive us’ – Gov’s Education Adviser, Tokunbo Wahab
Lagos State University (LASU) is set to become a residential tertiary institution, 36 years after it was established.
The State Government, at the weekend, signed a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement with six private property developers to deliver 8,272 units of hostel on the school campus in the next 18 months.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu officially approved the BOT agreement at a short ceremony held at Lagos House in Marina on Friday evening. The deal, which will lead to the construction of six blocks of Hall of Residence, was wrapped under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy of the State. The concessions will run for 35 years.
When the private developers deliver the projects in 2021, it is expected that 30 per cent of the school’s 26,000 student-population will be served, thereby reducing the pressure resulting from over subscription of privately owned off-campus residences.
After approving the contract, Gov. Sanwo-Olu said the development further underscored his administration’s objective of driving up quality output across the State-owned schools through provision of infrastructure critical to facilitating better-quality teaching and learning.
When LASU changes its status to a residential institution, Sanwo-Olu said there would be improvement in students’ academic performance, while the school would also move up in its global rating.
He said: “We have just approved an investment that will not only provide comfort to students, but also make positive impact on the future of our youths. If we agree that the youth as tomorrow’s leaders, we should not pay a 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 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.”
Sanwo-Olu told the developers not to default the agreement deadline nor deviate from the terms of the agreement, stressing that the State Government would monitor the development of the Halls of Residence at every stage of their construction to ensure compliance with agreement.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, whose office facilitated the contract, said Sanwo-Olu had created a legacy that would outlive him with the approval of the BOT agreement, reiterating that there would be more private sector-led infrastructure development programmes to be initiated across the State-owned tertiary institutions.
Wahab pointed out the six concessionaires were selected through a transparent bidding procedure fully handled by a reputable management-consulting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
He said: “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 provision of quality education as fundamental pillar. All we have just done is to provide 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.”
LASU Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lanre Fagbohun, who was at the ceremony, described the development as “significant”, saying the agreement would radically change the landscape of the institution.
The contractors will move fully to sites in January and the projects will be completed by the middle of 2021.
The concessionaires are Costa Del Sol Limited, Seamless Integrated Limited, Aircom Nigeria Limited, Clay Hall Limited, First Investment Development Company Limited, and Advent Integrated Services Limited.