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Inadequate hostel for students in Universities has been of great concern to Government and the University authorities. The Government has been trying to involve the private sector in the provision of hostel through Build Operate Transfer scheme since 2004. Challenges have been faced in implementing the scheme. The aim of the study was to investigate the slow adoption of the University Build Operate and Transfer scheme including readiness to adopt this policy. It also examined the cause of low participation of developers and investors in the BOT scheme. A structured questionnaire was designed and administered to Developers, Student Affairs Division and Physical Planning and Works Department of Federal Universities. An interview was also conducted with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission. Data was analysed using Percentages, Mean and Relative Importance Index (RII). The study found that Federal Universities in Nigeria are ready to implement this policy with a readiness assessment score of 3.63 out of 5. Developers are aware and willing to participate in the scheme. The level of private sector participation was found to be low as only 5 BOT projects were identified. Inadequate knowledge and understanding of BOT scheme by prospective developers (RII=0.86); Time and Cost Intensiveness a BOT Project (RII=0.8), Preference for traditional procurement route (RII=0.78) were factors militating against implementation of the scheme by Universities. High interest Rate on Loans (RII=0.83), Lack of availability of long term loan (RII=0.82), Inconsistent Government policy (RII=0.81) are most important challenges faced by developers in adopting Build Operate Transfer for provision of hostel accommodation in tertiary institutions. The study concludes that ensuring fairness, competitiveness and transparency in the procurement process, standard/rarely altered academic calendar, acceptable rent charges (flexible and adapted for adjustment) and mutual trust are practices that could enhance BOT adoption in hostel provision in Nigerian Universities.
1.1 Background of the Study
Education in some developing countries like Nigeria has been suffering from inadequate
funding. Poor funding of Tertiary education is seen as an African phenomenon
(Onuka, 2004 and Ayo-Sobowale & Samuel, 2011). This lack of funding has been one
of the major factors affecting the quality of education in Nigerian tertiary institutions.
Babalola (2002) and Samuel (2003) further affirmed that Federal Universities in Nigeria
are lacking the financial resources to maintain educational quality in the face of
enrolment explosion. UNESCO recommended at least 26% of national budget to
educational funding, but Nigeria has not been able to meet that percentage in previous
years (Onuka, 2004).
The Federal Government of Nigeria in 2013 established 3 (three) new Federal
Universities making the total number of Federal Universities in the country to 40
(Nigerian Universities Commission, 2013). One of the infrastructure problems facing
institutions of higher learning in the country is inadequate hostel accommodation for the
increasing students‘ population and this has been causing serious concern to the
government and university authorities. Hostel accommodation plays an important role
in the life of students in Universities. This is because, to get the best result from
students, adequate arrangements must be made for their housing/accommodation.
According to Okebukola et al,. (2004) in standardized academic communities, hostels in
the form of dormitories, residential halls and bedsitting are the forms of residential
accommodation developed for students. Ubong (2007) however laments that hostel
accommodation is not given the necessary attention in the Nigerian tertiary education
Government have looking for a way to bring the private sector in to provision of
infrastructure. Public Private Partnership is one of the method this could be achieved.
Private companies in conjunction with the public sector or one of its branches have
therefore introduced this solution which provide a more integrated financial design,
construction, maintenance and operational solution to infrastructure in project. According
to Bicourtney (2007); ECA (2005); NEPAD (2006), cited in Dahiru and Bala (2008),
Build Operate Transfer concept in the context of Public Private Partnership (PPP‘s) has
emerged as an important tool for improving economic competitiveness and
infrastructure services in Nigeria and other developing countries. The scheme is
increasingly being considered as a mechanism to fill the infrastructural deficit in
Llanto (2008) described a BOT project as one in which a public sector organisation
grants a concession for a period of time to a private company for the development of a
project. The private company then builds the project to the specifications agreed,
operates and manages the project for a number of years after its completion. This gives
the private company the chance to recoup its construction costs and make a profit out of
the proceeds coming from the operation and commercial exploitation of the project. At
the end of the concession period, the rights of the project company in the project are
transferred to the Government or its designee, normally free of any charge. Then the
government is free to operate it, or contract its operation to another contractor or even to
the same contractor (Argyris, 2003). In Nigeria, besides the on-going privatization
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