The Nigeria Government said on Tuesday it approved N800 million for the construction of a “state-of-the-art” library at the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT.
The Education Minister, Ibrahim Shekarau, said in Port Harcourt during assessment tour of federal tertiary education institutions in Rivers that the centre was borne out of the need to advance federal government’s move on economic diversification.
The Minister said the project would be funded by the government through its Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND, programme to ensure early completion.
“We commenced this tour in the spirit of Mr President’s Transformation Agenda in education to providing more opportunities and chances for citizens to acquire higher education and improving quality.
“All of this cannot be achieved without making available the required appropriate infrastructure and instructional materials and personnel to deliver the knowledge we require.
“New gigantic edifices going on are all meant to make teaching and learning more comfortable, profitable and more successful for students’ progress.
“Research is a top priority in any university hence the need to give UNIPORT a very important project of research library that will cost government, through TETFUND, as much as N800 million.’’
Mr. Shekarau said that federal government focus of embarking on projects in tertiary institutions through TETFUND was aimed at ensuring transparency of project execution in universities.
The Minister said that government was also making plans to establish more research centres in both federal and state-owned tertiary institutions nationwide.
According to him, the more universities are equipped with research centres, the more students and lecturers will embark on researches to boost the nation’s technological advancement.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Joseph Ajienka, hailed the contribution of TETFUND to the development of tertiary institutions across the country.
He said the institution had been facing the challenge of land encroachment by its host, attributing the development to the federal government inability to pay compensation to host communities.
“We find it difficult to embark on project construction because 50 per cent of our land has be taken by our host community and which we no longer have land for agriculture activities,” he said.