By ETIM ETIM
The University of Uyo community is eagerly awaiting 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 will accommodate 1,000 students and would be equipped with modern security systems and Internet services. It should be completed and 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 who received us at the site told this writer 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 pretty much done. We are now concentrating on fittings and external works, notably drainage and landscaping’’, he said. The three-storey project started over 15 years ago, but was delayed for many reasons.
After an extensive site tour, this writer drove around the campus to speak 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, says the new hostel will make life more bearable for the students as it will create a big community of students in one building. He commends 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’’, says Miss Ekomobong Friday, a 4th year student of Agricultural Economics & Extension.
Another student, Mr Etim Paul, who is in the second year of his five-year Soil Science programme, describes the hostel project as ‘’a very good initiative of the NDDC’’, adding that it would help the students to focus more on their studies. His words: ‘’many students come late for lectures because they live outside the campus; and lateness attracts punishment these days’’. It is the same point made by fair-complexioned Prosper Ifeanyi, a Year-One student of Land Survey. He told this writer: ‘’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 VC last October to request for the completion of the hostel block. At that meeting, the VC and his two Deputy Vice Chancellors were very thankful to Mr Akwa for keeping his 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,’’ said the VC.