The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has stated that his ministry was currently executing 43 road projects within tertiary institutions across the country with a view to enhancing the learning environment.
Mrs Boade Akinola, the Director of Press and Public Relations in the ministry, in a statement to newsmen, on Sunday, quoted the minister as saying this while handing over a 2km internal road project, rehabilitated and reconstructed by his ministry at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State.
The Minister, who was represented at the event by the Federal Controller of Works, in Benue State, Mr Charles Oke, stressed that it was not debatable that the quality of education would be impacted by the quality of infrastructure and learning environment.
“Those who doubt it should simply listen to some of the feedback from students in the schools, where this type of intervention had taken place,” the minister added.
Fashola said that the students were expressing renewed enthusiasm on attending classes because some defective roads had been restored to good condition, adding that besides impacting on the condition of learning in the schools, the intervention project had also created jobs for Nigerians.
He also explained that the infrastructure gap in the country was steadily being bridged by a gradual process of repairs, renewal and reconstruction of major highways, which had now reached the schools.
Fashola urged the university management to take ownership and ensure that the road asset was properly utilized and maintained, assuring that the Federal Government would do more to the development of its institutions.
The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof. Anande Kimbir, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and the Minister of Works and Housing, for the road intervention project, which was coming less than two months after an 8.25MW Solar Hybrid Power Plant was commissioned in the School.
“The eloquent message from these projects is that the gap in infrastructural needs of the University is being steadily bridged by the Administration of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
“The University is really deficient in the quantum and quality of adjectives to convey her true feeling of gratitude and happiness,” he said.
The VC added: “The positive impact of this project on campus life is highly invaluable, as it addresses Infrastructural needs of the University with direct bearing on the quality of learning environment, easy movement on the campus for staff, students and members of the host community.”
Kimbir stated his commitment to ensure careful use of the road and requested for more of such gestures from the Federal Government.
“The commitment of the University is that the infrastructure would be protected for maximum utilisation, suffice, however, to state that many more of such campus roads are crying for rehabilitation.
He added that it was imperative to say that “these campus roads have not been maintained, since the inception of the University over the last three decades.”
Although the school was not in session, some 400 level students of the university, who attended the commissioning ceremony: Onwe Samson and Onmonya Paul, expressed gratitude to the Federal Government and the minister for the road project.
They solicited for more of its kind, especially a road that would link the school to the town directly without going through outlying villages, as this would help to curb insecurity.
In attendance at the brief handover ceremony were traditional rulers and some members of the University Governing Council.