The quiet Signing of a Build Operate and Transfer agreement between the Lagos State Government and a few private developers has come under serious scrutiny by the State Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, Engr. Adedeji Doherty.
Doherty said that this agreement only shows that the state government is not sensitive to the needs of the students of LASU or genuinely interested in the progress of education and human capital acquisition and development in Lagos State.
He wondered if any due diligence was carried out on this project and expressed concern that the BOT agreement is shrouded in secrecy as no details were provided about the private investors involved. The greatest worry he said, is about the effect of such an agreement on the 26,000 already over-burdened students of LASU.
Doherty recalled that LASU was built over 30 years ago and should have gone through various phases of project development, which should have included the construction of student accomodation. He wondered what happened to the master plan of the institution.
Doherty said: “I advice that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu reverses this decision as it will only subject students to more hardship and educational pressures. Mr Governor should know that Education is the backbone of societal development and must be made available and affordable to all.”
He added that this agreement would only make the developers exploit the good students of LASU and subject them to economic hardship and psychological torture, as they were sure to become victims of exploitation in the hands of capitalist developer-landlords.
The PDP chairman said that a better option in the absence of funds would be to work with a banking institution to secure a long term loan which could run for 20 – 30 years, adding that this would certainly reduce the burden by making the accomodation more affordable.
Finally, Doherty said that Lagosians will recall that the Lagos State Government led by Batunde Raji Fashola, received $95m from the World Bank between 2009 and 2013 and an additional $42m in March 2014 specifically for Education. It is therefore baffling that till date, Lagos State cannot boast of a single world class educational institution and this may explain the lack of trust that many Lagosians feel for the APC led administration.