orried by the dearth of hostel facilities confronting the university and the need to address this, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Charles Igwe, has flagged off the construction of over 12,000-capacity bed-space students’ hostel infrastructure.
This was also as the Vice-Chancellor commissioned a multi-million naira Archaeology Museum complex, housing Archaeological Artefacts for the Department of Archaeology and Tourism of the institution.
The turning of sod of the hostel building and commissioning of the museum project were part of activities marking the Vice-Chancellor’s one year in office.
Igwe, who said that the hostel project being constructed under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement was in line with his administration’s agenda to prioritise staff and students’ welfare during his inaugural speech to the university community on assumption of office in June, last year, stressed: “The hostel project fits into my strategy of involving private sector to upgrade infrastructure in the university.”
The Vice-Chancellor, however, added that the first phase of the project, which had already commenced, and which comprised the construction of six hostel blocks, are expected to be ready in first quarter of 2021.
According to him, the project was coming at a time when the university management was planning how to manage students’ accommodation crisis against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.
While thanking the management of Viagem Property and Investment Limited, the contractor handling the project, Igwe said that his administration is open to collaboration with other investors, who would be readily willing and interested in doing business with the university.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of Viagem Investment Property Limited, Evangelist Chijioke Okonkwo, explained that the ongoing first phase of the project, which would accommodate 6,800 bed spaces, would be completed and delivered in 18 months.
However, Okonkwo, who was represented by the firm’s Technical Officer, Emmanuel Ogbuu, an engineer, also said: “The target is achievable despite the COVID-19 delay. We shall deliver the project according to specifications.”
The Dean of Students’ Affairs, Prof. Edwin Omeje, lauded the Vice-Chancellor for his interest in the students’ welfare, stating that the last time the foundation of a new block of students’ hostel was laid in the university, was 42 years ago.
On his part, the Head of Department of Archaeology and Tourism, Prof. Anselm Ibeanu, while receiving the keys to the newly commissioned Museum, also thanked the Vice-Chancellor for ensuring the completion of the building, which according to him, had been stagnated since 2005.
He, therefore, added that the project would go a long way in further promoting and developing tourism potentials in the areas of teaching and research in the university.