By Racheal Ishaya
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has approved the National Open University’s (NOUN) proposal to build and operate a N150 million multi-functional center using the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.
The acting Director-General of ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah made this known last Friday in Abuja as he officially handed over an Outline Business Certificate, which gave NOUN the go ahead to look for private investors.
Izuwah also urged Federal Government universities to embrace PPP as the solution to bridging infrastructure deficit in the education sector.
“One of the biggest problems universities have is student accommodation and the best way to provide student accommodation around the world is to partner with the private sector.
“We are working with a committee of Vice Chancellors to develop a framework to allow them partner with the private sector in this regard.
“When you go to many universities and you see where our future leaders stay it will make you very sad.
“So we want to bring in the private sector to provide affordable housing for our students and recover their money over a period of time,” he said.
Izuwah said also that PPP arrangements would improve the education system and improve the future of Nigerians.
Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Abdalla Adamu said that the proposed multi-functional center, would be situated at the University’s Headquarters.
He said it would comprise food courts, ICT centers, supermarkets, banking services among others.
“The cost estimate of the projects is about N150 million. We are looking at a situation where a private investor will build the complex, operate for a couple of years and then transfer it to the university.
“At the end of the day, it’s a win win for both parties,” he said.