AN INVESTIGATION INTO BUILD OPERATE AND TRANSFER IN THE PROVISION OF HOSTEL. A RESEARCH PROJECT TOPICS ON BUILDING TECHNOLOGY
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.