TETFund: Leading Students Housing Revolution In Nigeria

Taiwo Ajayi
7 Min Read
In response to the pressing need for improved student housing, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) is paving the way for a future where every student has access to safe, comfortable, and affordable accommodation on campus.

The Fund’s proactive approach to the housing crisis is reshaping the higher education landscape.

By investing in state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure, TETFund is not only ensuring that students have a safe and conducive environment to live and study but also fostering a sense of pride and belonging within the academic community.

Nigerian students have long grappled with the persistent challenge of inadequate hostel accommodation, hindering their ability to fully engage in their academic pursuits.

However, Nigerian students can finally breathe a sigh of relief as TETFund takes decisive action to alleviate accommodation woes, instilling confidence and optimism in the student community with its commitment to providing adequate housing solutions.

The Fund recently announced plans to construct student hostels in 36 tertiary institutions across Nigeria, with a commitment to build more once the initial set is completed.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono, disclosed this during a meeting with the new leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS), led by its President, Lucky Emonefe.

Echono pointed out that there is increased allocation for the maintenance of TETFund infrastructures above five years in the 2024 intervention cycle.

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He also promised to address the state of the NANS secretariat and incorporate the students’ body for joint monitoring of projects in beneficiary institutions.

Echono also revealed that the government has initiated a policy to ensure that 50 to 60 per cent of students live on campus, aiming to provide solid buildings that can compare with international standards.

“As I speak, this year, we shall be providing hostels for students in 36 tertiary institutions across the country.

“We realise that some of the places where our students live are very deplorable. And only about 15 percent of our students are staying on campus. Many of them are living outside campus, and some of them can’t even come back for evening lectures because of the cost and the trouble of walking all the way and coming back. There is also a security situation in their areas.

“So we have a policy to ensure that as much as possible, we will do the minimum of 50 to 60 percent of our students to live on campus. And provide those hostels. And those hostels will not be match boxes and shanties.

“They will be solid buildings that can attract other students from anywhere in the world to compare with what other people enjoy when they leave Nigeria.” Echono stated.

He urged students to leverage TETFund’s digital services platform, the Tertiary Education Research, Applications, and Services, to access educational resources and research materials.

According to him, other services such as sponsored mobile internet access, EagleScan for plagiarism checking, aggregated journal and research subscription inclusive of EBSCO, Blackboard Learning Management System, digital literacy, and intervention funding, are available to both public and private tertiary institutions in the country.

“We will continue to support NANS, partner with NANS because there is no doubt that any policy, programme, project that you want to do in the education sector, students must be at the centre of it. Higher institutions exist because of students,” he added.

Earlier, Emonefe, the NANS President, commended TETFund’s budget for 2024 and the new Students’ Loan Bill before the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: Concerned Student Group Accuses Tertiary Institution Leaders of Misusing TETFUNDS

He praised President Bola Tinubu for his commitment to education and thanked Echono for supporting the bill at a recent public hearing.

Emonefe said: “We are not going to relent. We are going to complement your efforts to ensure that these gigantic projects that TETFund is ensuring in our tertiary institutions.

“On our part, we are going to monitor, supervise, and protect the education infrastructure to complement the efforts of Mr. President and TETFund is doing.”

Senator Ned Nwoko, a member of the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund, and lawmaker representing Delta North Senatorial District, also attended the event, pledging the committee’s support for Nigerian students.

Last year, it inaugurated two hostels, worth N550 million, at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State.

The construction of the male and female hostels were sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), 2020 Special Intervention.

That notwithstanding, the Fund, in 2022, constructed N8 billion projects at the JS Tarka University of Agriculture in Makurdi, Benue State.

The projects include a one laboratory/workshop block for entrepreneurship development centre; a one female hostel; one male hostel, and academic office building for College of Agronomy, amongst many others in tertiary institutions across the country.

In a recent interview, Echono said he was exploring ways to build more student hostels.

“The issue of hostel accommodation is something we’ve done a lot of research and also, we are now intervening.

“It is true that many of our institutions only roughly between 15 to 20% of the students housed on campus and this is not acceptable and just as I said, exposing them to all sorts of vices.

“Even the fact that you will have to live in class in school, to their accommodations at nights and all of that and you don’t really know what happens to them when they leave because they can also be impersonated and all sorts of devices.

“You have cases of students participating in armed robbery. Students Engaged in drug trafficking and all sorts of dishonorable behavior especially ladies and so on. So yes, we prioritize the issue of hostel accommodation,” he had said.

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