The Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Professor Mrs. Comfort Ekpo, has given kudos to the Niger. Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for providing key infrastructure for the university community. She was speaking at the commissioning of Solar-Powered street lights and internal roads at the UNIUYO annex in the Akwa Ibom State capital yesterday.
Professor Ekpo expressed delight at the speed with which the project was completed, noting that the solar light had come to drive away darkness and crime “Light illumines, but darkness provides the cover for destruction,” she said.
The Vice Chancellor acknowledged other contributions of the NDDC to the university, especially its building of two modern hostels that were nearing completion. She said that the commission had also constructed internal roads and donated 5 transformers to the university.
Also Professor Kimse Okoko, the Chairman of the university’s Governing Council, observed that there were signs of positive changes in the activities of the NDDC in the recent times.He attributed the changes to the leadership of Dr. Mrs. Christy Atako, the Acting Managing Director of the Commission.
He said: “I am one of the great admirers of the 35 per cent affirmative action of President Goodluck Jonathan. I am convinced that Dr. Atako will not only be a pride to her fellow women but will be appreciated by men as well.”
The NDDC boss underscored the fact that education was a critical component of development, noting that the commission placed a lot of emphasis on the sector because of its inherent value in societal growth. Dr. Atako said that the commission’s intervention in education was holistic as it did not end with providing physical infrastructure. “We have so far given 610 Post-graduate scholarships in science disciplines for Niger Delta students,” she said.
Dr. Atako said she would have been happier if the students were on campus to witness the lighting up of their school. She, therefore, appealed to university lecturers, who had been on strike since July to return to the classrooms. She called on the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to reconsider their position and call off the protracted strike since the Federal Government had made some concessions with respect to their demands.
The NDDC also commissioned four other road projects in AkwaIbom State. They are Ebong Ekpo Street in Abak Local Government Area; Ibono Street and Ini Okpon Udo Ekpo both in Uyo Local Government Area. Others are Solar-Powered Water projects in Nta Obo and Ekit Itam II in Itu LGA.