Nigeria’s first lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan was at the University of Lagos yesterday to break grounds at the foundation laying ceremony of a 15 storey, 1,900 capacity, female hostel to be named after her. The project, which is worth about N3bn is to be completed in 2016.
Addressing a teeming crowd at the building site, Mrs Jonathan said: “Today marks a milestone in the development of higher education in Nigeria.
“I believe this is a worthy cause, one that will alleviate the challenge of having so many students living off campus, especially considering the attending insecurity in the country. Education is key to human capital development and is the basis of national development. This why we must ensure that a significant percentage of our children, especially our girls, acquire university education.”
Also speaking, Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Rahamon Bello said: “We are particularly delighted to have the first Lady in our midst today. Here at the University of Lagos, we have 40,291 students in need of accommodation, 17,934 of which are female.
“Despite this large number, we have available bed spaces for only about 8,500. This is excluding the students at the Distance Learning Institute.
“Getting more room on campus is especially important to girls, because girls are the most vulnerable in situations like this. We are most grateful to the parents’ forum for championing this venture,” he said.
Permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Mark John Nwaobiala, who represented the supervising minister for education, Sen. Nyesom Wike said the construction of the hostel is clear evidence that the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan to make university education in Nigeria second to none in Nigeria is well underway.
“Government is fully aware of the enormous benefits that hostel life brings,” he said.