The NSSF director of planning, investments and projects, Gabriel Silayo told The Guardian in an interview that the decision to turn Mtoni Kijichi properties into students’ accommodation was reached after conducting a thorough market demand study.
“We first studied market demand and recognized that there is still a challenge in students’ accommodation. So we thought it was better to sign agreements with colleges,” he said.
Silayo said that despite market demand, the fund decided to bring its services close to students who are grappling with proximate and safe residence for studies.
“It is not that we failed to rent the apartments to other people but our aim is also to help students especially girls get safe places to stay and concentrate on their studies.”
On transport, Silayo said that there will be bus shuttles to take the students to and from the hostels.
“There will be no challenge in transport as most colleges are located near the hostels for example the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE), the Tanzania Institute of Accountancy (TIA) and the Mwalimu Nyerere Memorial University, while the Institute of Finance Management (IFM) and the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT) are much farther within the city centre,” he said.
On accommodation expenses, Silayo said that this will be supervised by the universities themselves at affordable rates.
Late last month, NSSF handed over buildings with a total of32 floors located at Mtoni Kijichi suburb in Dar es Salaam to be used by six universities as hostels.
The structure which is expected to accommodate 4,314 students is part of buildings with a total of 64 floors having 760 apartments.
Speaking during the handing over event, NSSF Director General William Erio said that the houses are suitable for lecturers and other staff, thus heads of higher learning institutions need to take advantage of this opportunity to secure better housing.
The president of the students’ government at the Centre for Foreign Relations, Xavery Matembo, praised the government for relentlessly addressing challenges facing students in higher learning institutions.
Minister Jenista Mhagama, who handles the social security docket in the Prime Minister’s Office, stated that the fifth phase government under President Dr. John Magufuli will ensure that the student housing problem is resolved and reduced to history countrywide.
She said the government had made the right decision to make sure the project solves a major accommodation challenge for students.
Mhagama warned that the houses should not be turned over to be a university project, and instead the rental costs should be fair to students from all socio-economic backgrounds.