President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, has called for improved funding for tertiary education in Nigeria, same time he commissioned 360 rooms hostel he built for Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria in Kaduna.
Dangote, who bagged the university’s Honorary Doctor of Letters at its 41st Convocation Ceremony on Saturday, said the 2,160 bed hostel was built at the cost of N1.2 billion.
He called on the private sector to bridge the gap of underfunding of universities, adding that the Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the entire burden of funding tertiary education due to competing needs of other sectors that also demand priority attention.
According to the business mogul, “the student population at our universities have recorded significant increase without a corresponding growth in terms of infrastructure. This is a subsisting and growing major challenge as Nigerian public universities continue to grapple with underfunding.
“The Federal Government alone cannot shoulder the entire burden of funding tertiary education due to competing needs of other sectors that also demand priority attention.
“This is where Public Private Partnership (PPP) can and should come in to fill the gap. I strongly believe the private sector must go beyond just the payment of 2 percent education levy and be ready to join hands with the state and federal governments in expanded funding for tertiary education in Nigeria,” he said.
Dangote further stated that the partnership and intervention of the private sector would ensure that institutions of higher learning are positioned to produce graduates who can transform Nigeria.
He said it was against that background that, Dangote Foundation built 10 blocks of fully equipped hostel complex with the capacity of accommodating 2,160 students, at a cost of N1.2 billion.
Dangote stated that the gesture was informed by his passion for education and entrepreneurship.