By Etim Etim
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is to construct and donate 1000-capacity hostel blocks to the University of Uyo as part of its interventions in the education sector in the region.
The Commission, which anounced plans to embark on the construction of the hostels to the management of the university in Uyo on Monday said it was also considering a request from the university to reconstruct all its internal roads and provide power generation turbines.
When completed, the Commission said the hostels, which would come in two blocks of 500 beds each, would be for both male and female students of the institution.
Facilities to be provided for each of the hostels include a dedicated power generation plant, lawn tennis courts, TV rooms with large-screen TVs and WIFI internet connections. Also, the NDDC said the hostels would have solar-powered lightings around it.
The Interim Administrator & Chief Executive of NDDC, Efiong Akwa, who announced the plan during his visit to the Vice Chancellor of UNIUYO, Nyaudo Ndaeyo, a professor, in his office on Monday, said the construction of the hostel project would be completed in two months for
President Muhammadu Buhari to be invited to commission.
Akwa said the Niger Delta Minister, Godswill Akpabio has been very helpful in pushing for the completion of the project, noting that similar facilities would be also be provided to other universities in the region.
‘’Our uncommon Minister, Senator Akpabio has been very creative and proactive in pushing us to achieve a lot since we came into office in December’’, Akwa said.
Akwa said the Ndaeyo visited him soon after he was named the new VC last November, but before he took office on December 1, to request for the agency’s assistance in the provision of infrastructures.
Ndaeyo thanked NDDC management led by Akwa for the visit and the gift of the hostels, while requesting for more facilities for the university.
Other members of the university management at the meeting were with DVC (academics), A P Udo; DVC (admin), Enoidem Usoro; Aniediabasi Essien, Registrar; Imo Maxwell, Bursar and Ahiaoma Ibegwam, Librarian.
Construction of the hostel project started some 15 years ago, but was delayed for various reasons, one of which was its poor location at the initial stage.
It took a long time for the project to be relocated to the present site. But it is under the leadership of Efiong Akwa and the supervision of the Minister, Akpabio, in the last few months that the construction of the project gathered substantial impetus, and to monitor the project and ensure its prompt completion, Akwa said he has been visiting the site every Sunday evening in the last few months and also instructed the State Director of NDDC, Obot Udoette, to be on ground every day.
After the meeting, the two management teams went to the project site a short drive from the VC’s office.
This is not the first time NDDC has assisted UNIUYO with projects. A 1000-capacity hall, named after the first chairman of NDDC, Onyema Ugochukwu, was donated by the agency over 15 years ago.
The entrance road into the campus was constructed by the agency together with the provision of solar-powered street lighting three years ago.