Varsity hostel projects bounce back as NDDC set to commission UNIUYO 1,000-Bed Model Hostel

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Effiong Akwa, NDDC interim Head

The dream to donate 100-bed hostel in each university in a state of the Niger Delta which seemed abandoned for years may have bounced back. This is as the Interim Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Efiong Akwa, has assured that the 1,000-bed space hostel at the permanent site of the University of Uyo, UNIUYO, will be completed and commissioned in the next two weeks.

Akwa spoke during a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor of UNIUYO, Professor Nyakudo Ndaeyo, at the Senate Chambers of the University. Many contractors who allegedly collected the funds are said to have moved on in life without delivering the projects and the FG not having the liver to enforce recovery of the funds. Rather, government had continued to “appeal’ to them to go back to cite.

Now, Akwa, who seems to have the knack to do uncommon things at the intervention agency, stated that the NDDC’s commitment to the completion of the students’ hostel project was a result of a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari through the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to the Commission to ensure the completion of projects in the Niger Delta region which touch the lives of the people of the region.

He gave credit to President Buhari for directing the NDDC and the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to ensure that all on-going projects in the Niger Delta region was completed and commissioned.

Akwa said: “The 1,000 bed students hostel being built will be a first of it’s kind in the region. It will have 500 bed spaces for male undergraduates and 500 bed spaces for female undergraduates and will include recreational spaces as well.”

He noted that the university was playing a crucial role in the economy and lives of the people of Akwa Ibom State and the South-South region.

The NDDC boss observed that in an era of Covid-19 pandemic, it was necessary to assist universities to properly and comfortably accommodate students in order to ensure sufficient provision for social distancing in the hostels.

Speaking after inspecting the hostel, the NDDC boss assured that NDDC would assist universities in the region to ensure that their students undertake their studies in comfort, stating: “We are committed to doing whatever has to be done within our capacity to ensure that we add value to the educational system in the Niger Delta.”

He said that the project had reached 95 per cent completion, leaving only external works and landscaping.

The Vice Chancellor of UNIUYO, Professor Nyaudoh Ndaeyo, thanked the NDDC for assisting the university to ease the pressure of accommodation by building a modern hostel for the students.

Receiving the visitors from the NDDC, Ndaeyo noted that the need for the new students’ hostel has taken on an urgent note due to the prevailing need to provide the University’s undergraduates with a conducive learning and living environment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We need to pull out our students from the surrounding villages where they currently reside and host them in a conducive environment fit for learning.”

He commended the Interim Administrator for reviewing NDDC’s policy regarding foreign post-graduate scholarship programme, stating that the previous system where the Commission sponsored students on foreign scholarships for post graduate studies was not sustainable, adding that it was better to train the students in universities in the Niger Delta region.