A first time visitor to Kwara State University, Malete (KWASU) cannot but notice an imposing edifice. The imposing edifice is the N3 billion university library under construction.
The project which has become a cynosure of all eyes is a testimony to the good job that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) is doing.
It also shows the commitment of the university's administration to making the institution a World class because it must have met some requirements before KWASU could be adjudged as most suitable for the library project in the north central zone of Nigeria.
Apparently satisfied with the quality of work done so far on the library project, a one time member of TETFund Board of Trustees, Professor Patricia Donli, during a visit to KWASU described the project as 'real value for money'.
LEADERSHIP Sunday learnt that KWASU had received a special high impact grant of N3billion from TETFund, for the construction of a world-class University Central Library. It was further learnt the grant - the highest ever received by the University - was facilitated by Professor Donli.
"We went to the library which is coming up and it is a gigantic project and I think it is first of its kind here in Nigeria. It is really impressive and I think it is value for money," she enthused shortly after being conducted round the project and others on campus by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AbdulRasheed Na'Allah.
Accompanied by her husband, Chief Andrew Abdullahi Donli, the TETFund erstwhile Board member also took time out to interact with KWASU students during her visit.
She recalled that before the special high impact grant for the North Central Geopolitical Zone was awarded to KWASU, "we came here and when we went back, I knew that if I facilitated the money, it would be used judiciously. Now I came back and I am not disappointed. I am quite glad at what I saw."
Donli stated that with the way KWASU is growing, it would be among the world leading universities in the nearest future.
"I think it would be among the foremost universities because the vision of KWASU is not just the theory, but it is about hands-on for the students. So, there is no student that graduates from this place that will go into the labour market and be found wanting in anyway, because the practical aspect is as important as the theoretical aspect in KWASU. I think that is where a lot of universities have missed it," she noted.
Donli, who teaches at the University of Maiduguri, also expressed satisfaction with surveillance drone and other innovative projects done by the KWASU students of Aeronautics and Astronautics, even as she encouraged the female Engineering students to come out with best results.
The visitor, while stressing the importance of public-private partnership (PPP) to the development of educational institutions in Nigeria, said "I have been to the hostel as well and the BOT (build-operate-transfer) is something that other universities may have to learn from because PPP has become critical in the development of our educational institutions.
"The government cannot do it alone. We have to partner with the private sector, so that we will be able to do it. The University is doing quite well and I am quite impressed. There is a lot of take-home from here to my own University."
"My message to the management is to keep up the good work. They are leaving a very good legacy and they should just keep on improving. For the students, I saw a lot of them working very hard. There is nothing good that comes without you working hard. They should be committed to their studies, no matter how difficult because pressure may mount on them to work harder and what have you, but at the end, they will be proud of what they come out with.
"I think for me on a general note, I am very, very impressed with what I have seen and I know the future is going to be very bright. I am part and parcel of this University. I will be looking forward in the future to hearing great things about the University," she stated.
Responding, the Vice Chancellor of KWASU, Prof AbdulRasheed Na'Allah thanked Donli for the visit and her words of encouragement.
He equally thanked the don for facilitating the project for the fledging and indeed, vibrant institution.
The VC assured her visitor that no effort would be spared in ensuring that the project is done according to specification.
He said upon completion, the library will greatly promote , research, teaching and learning in the university.