Authorities of the University of Benin said that the institution needs the sum of N800 million for the construction of a perimeter fence around the university’s campus to stop the activities of those encroaching on its land.
This is because erosion is currently posing serious threat to the main campus, with the school authorities saying the magnitude is beyond its scope and ability to handle.
Godwin Osayuki Oshodin, the vice chancellor of the University who stated this while conducting the national good governance tour team by Labaran Maku, the minister of Information and Orientation, said the fence was to prevent the vast expanse of land of the institution from encroachment by members of the public.
According to him, the fence is to rescue the land because many, especially from Urhora community are encroaching massively. “If action is not taken by the university authorities and Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, there will be a big problem in future concerning the massive encroachment being perpetuated by internal and external forces.”
“So you can imagine that there is a lot of problem here and if we don’t tackle it now we might have a problem in the future. What we did was to allocate some parcels to some federal institutions as a buffer and to prevent further encroachment. Some did make use of the facility such as Psychiatric Hospital. They have started building there.
“We think it is a Federal Government policy to wall around their property and we have a total of 17.5 kilometres of wall and when we cost it, it came to about N800 million,” he said.
Oshodin, who added that the university has 49 federal government projects under its capital projects as well as Tertiary Education Special Trust fund (TETFUND), pointed out that ETF does not handle projects like fencing of school walls but are only interested in building classrooms, halls among others.
He also added that the sum of N5.5 billion was earmarked for the development of the university under the Education Trust Fund for 2010 scheme. He however urged the federal government to come to aid of the university noting that in the mean time the institution’s authorities is thinking of planting economic trees along the boundary.
The vice chancellor also lamented the devastating effect of gully erosion within the
IDRIS UMAR MOMOH, BENIN