The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has called on universities, polytechnics, and other tertiary institutions across the country to embrace Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in addressing infrastructural decay.
Mohammed made the call on Tuesday at the unveiling of refurbished and equipped Lecture Theatres at the Faculty of Science at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Buki Ponle, the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said in spite of governments’ efforts, there is still a discernible infrastructure gap across the nation’s tertiary institutions.
According to the minister, many structures and facilities on campuses are today in decay due to neglect over the years.
”The president advised Nigerian universities to find creative ways of exploiting the existing Public-Private Partnership policy to meaningfully bridge the infrastructure gaps existing on their campuses,” the minister said.
Infrastructure decadence in a major challenge faced by most government-owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria, resulting in incessant strike actions by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, as well as other unions and organisations in tertiary institutions.
Almost all of ASUU strikes border, among other issues, on the provision of funds for the revitalisation of dilapidated infrastructure (hostel accommodation, befitting lecture theatres, state-of-the-art laboratories and good working environment for lecturers).
According to Dataphyte, ASUU has had 15 strikes summing up to about 45 months since 1999. The last strike lasted almost a year.
By Oluwatobi Odeyinka…
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