In furtherance of its determination to boost education in the Niger Delta region, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, commissioned and handed over a 522 bed-space prototype hostel to the authorities of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST, Port Harcourt. The event, which took place on Wednesday, came on the heels of the inauguration of similar hostels in 6 other universities across the region.
Speaking at the occasion, the NDDC Managing Director, Sir (Barr.) Bassey Dan-Abia, said that the ultra modern hostel, which would accommodate close to one thousand students, would raise the status of the university and provide the enabling environment for students to perform well in their studies. He said that the relatively large number of students to be accommodated in the new hall of residence would contribute immensely to easing the overcrowding of existing hostels in the university.
The NDDC boss said that apart from ensuring that the hostel was fully furnished, the commission will also provide a new electricity generating set as requested by the university and said that it had raised the bar in the area of providing modern hostel facilities for universities and polytechnics in the Niger Delta.
Sir Dan-Abia declared that the current funding challenges facing the NDDC would not deter it from performing its function as an interventionist agency. He said that out of the 19 student hostels being built by the NDDC across the Niger Delta region, only one was completed at the time the 4th governing Board of the Commission was inaugurated on December 16, 2013. “We are today commissioning the seventh hostel and 4 more would be ready soon. We have inaugurated similar hostels in Imo State University, Federal University of Science and Technology, Owerri, University of Benin, Delta State University, Abraka, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.” he said.
The Acting Vice Chancellor of the RUST, Prof. Blessing Didia, thanked the NDDC for coming to its rescue in alleviating the accommodation problems of the university. He said: “The University has a student population of about 20,000 and only about two thousand students are accommodated on campus. You can, therefore, understand the joy of the university community for the great relief which this unprecedented Christmas gift by NDDC would bring to the university.”
Prof. Didia underlined the importance of student’s hostel accommodation in the university system and said that RUST had every reason to celebrate what he described as a wonderful gesture from the NDDC. He said further: “Apart from providing the students with another home away from their homes, campus hostel accommodation guarantees a sense of security for the students. It also enhances healthy students’ relationship and encourages commitment and academic excellence.”
The Vice Chancellor said that the magnificent edifice handed over to the university by the NDDC went beyond the 3-floor 174-room structure, according to him, the complex houses other ancillary facilities such as a 20,000 gallons water works, cybercafé, shops and students lounge.
The Chairman of the Students’ Union Government, Mr. Wealth Gospel, said the students were grateful to the NDDC for giving them a state-of-the-art facility that would save them from the dangers and difficulties of living outside the campus. He promised that the students would take good care of the facilities.