FG to provide student hostels in 36 tertiary institutions

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The Federal Government said it would provide student hostels in 36 tertiary institutions across the country.

This is even as the government has indicated its willingness to construct more hostels once these first sets are completed.

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The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Sonny Echono, stated this on Tuesday when he hosted the new leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students led by its President, Lucky Emonefe, according to a statement by the Fund on Wednesday in Abuja.

In the statement, the TETFund’s Director of Public Affairs , AbdulMumin Oniyangi, quoted Echono as pointing out that there is increased allocation for maintenance of TETFund infrastructures above five years in the 2024 intervention cycle.

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On the NANS secretariat, the agency boss promised to look into it and get the buy-in of the Ministry of Education.

He also disclosed that the intervention agency would work out modalities to incorporate the students body for joint monitoring of projects across beneficiary institutions.

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Lamenting the increasing challenge of student housing in institutions of higher learning, the Executive Secretary said: “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 per cent 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.”

He congratulated the national leadership on their successful election, and he applauded the body for its constructive engagements on issues. Nigerian students, he stressed, will continue to be at the centre of any project in tertiary institutions.

Echono also urged students to on-board on its digital services platform for tertiary institutions – Tertiary Education Research, Applications, and Services.

This, he said, would address critical challenges faced by students, researchers, and institutions in accessing educational resources and research materials.

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According to him, other services such as sponsored mobile internet access, EagleScan for plagiarism checking, aggregated journal and research subscription inclusive of EBSCO, Blackboard Learning Management System, digital literacy, and intervention funding are available to both public and private tertiary institutions in the country.

“We will continue to support NANS, partner with NANS because there is no doubt that any policy, programme, project that you want to do in the education sector, students must be at the centre of it. Higher institutions exist because of students,” he stated.

Earlier, NANS President, Emonefe said the visit was to formally introduce the new leadership of the association to TETFund management as well as work out areas of collaboration.

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