The University of Uyo community is buzzing with excitement over the completion of the ultra modern hostel blocks being donated to the university by the NDDC. Construction work was progressing steadily when this writer visited the project site on Tuesday, September 7.
The hostel, which will accommodate 1,000 students, would be equipped with modern security systems and Internet services and is expected to be handed over to the university in October 2021, according to Mr Obot Udoette, Akwa Ibom State NDDC State Director.
The Site Engineer of the project confirmed that work is progressing ‘’steadily because we have a tight deadline to meet’’. He noted that the commission “is keen to handover the project to the school authority in the next one month. Major civil works are almost done. We are now concentrating on fittings and external works, notably drainage and landscaping.”
The three-storey project, which was started about 15 years ago, but was delayed for many reasons. Work was resumed following a directive from the Federal Government for NDDC to begin the completion of such projects around the Niger Delta region.
After an extensive site tour, this writer spoke to some students on their impressions of the hostel project. On his way back from lectures, Mr Great Emmanuel Iwaudofia, a year-one student of Forestry & Wildlife, said the new hostel will make life more bearable for the students as it will create a big community of students in one building.
He commended the NDDC for making provision for the long-term maintenance of the building and for the security of students who will live there.
When Mr Efiong Akwa, the chief executive of NDDC visited the Vice Chancellor, Prof Nyaudo in July, he had informed his hosts that the hostel would have perimeter fence, gate house, solar lightings, WIFI and a 24-hour security surveillance.
‘’This is quite commendable and it will solve most of the accommodation problems we have here. Thanks to NDDC for this gesture’’, said Miss Ekomobong Friday, a fourth year student of Agricultural Economics & Extension.
Another student, Mr Etim Paul, who is in the second year of his five-year Soil Science programme, described the hostel project as ‘’a very good initiative of the NDDC’’, adding that it would help the students to focus more on their studies. He stated: “Many students come late for lectures because they live outside the campus. The lateness attracts punishment these days.”
It is the same point made by Prosper Ifeanyi, a year-one student of Land Survey. He said: ‘’I thank NDDC for this hostel project. A lot of students like me are staying off-campus. It would be nice if most of us are accommodated on campus so that we can enjoy the full benefits of campus life’’.
Other students like Ukemeobong Akpabio, a final a year student of Agricultural Economics, were equally ecstatic when they expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the commission.
During his visit to the VC and the university management in July, Mr Akwa had mentioned how Prof Ndaeyo Nyaudo had met with him soon after he was named the new vice chancellor last October, to request for the completion of the hostel block. At that meeting, the Prof Nyaudo and his two deputy vice chancellors were thankful to Mr Akwa and NDDC for keeping to the promise to complete the project.
‘’This hostel is a very big project and we thank Mr Akwa and indeed the NDDC for making this donation to UniUyo’’, the vice chancellor stated.