By Jonathan Eze
In another massive intervention, the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) is set to inaugurate a N1billion hostel it built for the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, in Kaduna State.
The authorities of the University, reputed to be the largest tertiary institution in West Africa, described the Dangote hostel project as a “big relief,” saying accommodation is one of the nightmares of the sprawling university.
Director, Physical Planning and Municipal Services of the University, Muhammad Aminu Sambo, said: “This is a big relief because the university has limited accommodation in relation to the numbers of students admitted every year. This is one of our nightmares.”
Speaking to journalists, Sambo said out of the over 50,000 students admitted yearly, the university could only provide accommodation for only about 13,000. He commended the President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, and urged all able Nigerians to emulate him and intervene in the educational sector.
In his reaction, the Chief Architect of ABU, Yabani Abubakar, described the hostel as a monumental intervention, saying it is a set of 10 blocks with 36 rooms each. Abubakar, who is the Chief Physical Planning and Development Officer (CPPDO) of the University, said the newly-built Dangote Hostel has been completed and will be inaugurated during the upcoming convocation.
According to him, as part of his commitment, Dangote visited the hostel recently and directed that new state-of-the-art facilities like solar power be installed. He said the Dangote Hostel is located in Phase II section of the Main Campus and will be initially used as a wholly-male hostel from next academic session.
The Managing Director and CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, had said supporting education is one of the Foundation’s priorities, adding that the ADF was recently endowed with a staggering $1.25 billion.
National President of the Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association, Prof. Ahmed Tijani Mora, recently noted that the contribution of the Aliko Dangote Foundation to the educational sector, and more importantly to the school, was unprecedented. He said it was in this regard that the University Alumni Association conferred a Corporate Award on the business mogul.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, commended Mr. Dangote, saying the support was timely as the university has limited accommodation facility for its students.
The Group had recently donated a world-class Dangote Business School worth N1.2 billion to the Bayero University Kano, and also donated another Business School complex in the University of Ibadan, among several other interventions.
Dangote, who is Africa’s richest man, had said: “I do not only want to be known as Africa’s richest man, but the biggest philanthropist. I will continue to use my resources and my voice to help shape a better Nigeria, and Africa as a whole.”