Information Directorate, Youyi Building, Sierra Leone, and Monday 6th August, 2018-The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education has signed fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) worth of contract with FEMAB Sierra Leone Ltd, a construction company with its headquarters in Nigeria, to construct a hostel for over one thousand students at Bureh Town in the peninsular area of Freetown.
This disclosure was made by the Hon. Minister of Tertiary and Higher Education Prof. Aiah Kpakima at a press briefing held on the 2nd of August at the state house conference room.
Addressing journalists the Hon. Minister of Higher Education said IPAM is a consistent college of the University of Sierra Leone and have grown so large that the present infrastructure could not accommodate the number of students who are qualified to attend the institution.
He said IPAM as of last year had a total number of five thousand seven hundred and thirty three (5,733) students and by the next ten (10) years the campus will have about thirty five thousand (35,000) students.
He furthered that the university’s campus at tower hill is so small that they have rented over ten spaces to accommodate their entire student which he said is very expensive.
Professor Kpakima said, 25% of the contract will be borne by the university and the 75% will be funded by FEMAB and the first of the construction will be done in two years.
The Minister noted that the government under the leadership of H.E Rtd. Brigadier Julius is committed to improving education and providing the enabling environment for students to acquire quality education.
Chief Minister Prof. David Francis stated that as a government they are supportive of the initiative because they it promotes the educational transformation agenda of the President; adding that the president has prioritized free education but even at the higher education the focus and interest is on entrepreneurship as a driving force for economic regeneration and expansion of the economy, noting that it is also to provide quality higher education but to be able to do so the government should provide modern infrastructure for students that is convenient for learning. He said that public institutions do not have that facility, pointing out that this is the first time they are having such public private partnership.
He reaffirmed government’s support to the project and hoped that it will be replicated in other public institutions.
The signing of the contract by both parties formed the high point of the conference.
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