Mr. Efiong Okon, a Promise Keeper – UNIUYO VC

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Professor Nyakudo Ndaeyo, has described the Interim Administrator/CEO of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Efiong Okon Akwa, as a promise keeper for ensuring that the long-abandoned 1000-bed NDDC hostel would soon be completed.

Professor Ndaeyo made this declaration when Mr. Akwa paid him a courtesy visit at UNIUYO Senate Chambers, as part of an inspection of the hostel project in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.

The Vice Chancellor disclosed that he had extracted the promise from the NDDC boss to complete the project shortly after his appointment as Head of the interventionist agency.

Professor Ndaeyo thanked the NDDC for assisting the university to ease the pressure of accommodation, stressing the need to provide the university’s undergraduates with a conducive learning and living environment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Akwa, who was accompanied by the state director of the Commission, Mr. Obot Udoette, and directors of the Commission, stated that the hostel, sited at the permanent site of the University, will be completed and commissioned next month.

He said that the NDDC’s commitment to the completion of the students’ hostel project was a result of a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to the Commission to ensure the completion of all its projects in the Niger Delta region.

He said: “The 1,000 bed students’ hostel being built will be a first of its 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 stated that the university was playing a very important 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 accommodate students in order to ensure adequate provision for social distancing in the hostels.

Speaking after inspecting the hostel project, the NDDC boss assured that the Commission would assist universities in the region to ensure that their students undertake their studies in comfortable and safe environment.

Akwa expressed delight that the project had reached 95 per cent completion, with only external works and landscaping still being worked on.

He added: “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.”

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