Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The Vice Chancellor of University of Jos, Professor Ishaya Tanko, has signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Royal Choice Inn Limited to lease out an old University’s Council Guest House to the company.
He noted that the company, which is being managed by a developer, would remodel the guest house to meet global standard and construct a befitting world class hotel at the location for public use.
The vice chancellor signed the MoU yesterday on behalf of the institution while the Chairman of Royal Choice Inn Limited, Mr. Felix Akiga, signed for the company at the vice chancellor’s board room.
Tanko said that the MoU would last for 20 years after which the university would take over the property. He described Akiga as a developer, stakeholder and friend of the university who has contributed immensely to infrastructural and social wellbeing of the institution.
He said: “We are happy as a university for the signing of this Memoranda of Understanding. I am privileged to be the person signing this MoU and this is the first of its kind as far as we know in the University of Jos.
“I wish to recognise my predecessors who initiated the project; Professor Hayward Mafuwai started it and worked with Professor Nelson Ochekpe, who is here seated. When Professor Sabastine Maimako saw the beauty of the concept, he worked towards achieving it in 2020 but because of the pandemic, it wasn’t possible.”
He added that during the period of Maimako, he served as Vice Chancellor Academic and witnessed all the committees that were set up with the legal team and physical facilities units to ensure they reached an agreeable and acceptable with all the terms.
The vice chancellor explained that the university is not going to be responsible for the finances that would be used for the remodeling and for the construction, but assured that the developer is expected to spend three years to rehabilitate and construct the hotel, which he would use for 20 years and then hand over the facilities completely to the university.
Akiga, who spoke earlier, described the university as a home and said he would contribute his quota towards improving infrastructural facilities in the university.
He noted that the facility would be rehabilitated and a world class hotel would be constructed to house staff and guests of the university and for people outside the institution.
He said that the university was going to gain a lot from the exercise because it will create tourism and leisure management to hotel staff and it will give the university the opportunity to create entrepreneurial courses.
He said: “If the University of Jos introduced entrepreneur courses for swimming instructors, hotel reception, catering staff and even the university’s catering department can be introduced into making meat pie and selling in their kitchen and the university will make more money.”
Akiga also donated N200,000 and volleyball kits to the university to commence preparation for the Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) in Lagos this year. He promised to employ a volleyball coach for the institution and present a prize of N1 million to the team if they win the competition.