Felix Ikem, Nsukka
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof Charles Igwe, marked his one year in office with a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of students’ hostel blocks with a capacity of over 12,000-bed spaces.
Igwe said that the hostel project, constructed under Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, was in line with his promise to prioritize students welfare during his inaugural speech to the university community in June last year.
‘The hostel project fits into my strategy of involving the private sector to upgrade infrastructure in the university,’ the Vice-Chancellor told a handful of staff and student leaders who witnessed the event.
Prof Igwe said that the first phase of the project had already started and it would involve the construction of six hostel blocks which are expected to be ready by the first quarter of 2021.
He said that the project was coming at a time the university management was planning on ways to manage students’ accommodation against the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.
While thanking the management of Viagem Property and Investment Ltd for undertaking the hostel project, Igwe said he was open to collaborating with other investors who would be interested in doing business with the university.
The Managing Director of Viagem Investment Property Ltd, Evangelist Chijioke Okonkwo, explained that the ongoing first phase of the hostels would house 6,800-bed spaces and it would be ready under 18 months.
‘The target is achievable despite the COVID-19 delay. We will deliver and deliver strongly,’ Okonkwo who was represented by his Technical Officer, Engineer Emmanuel Ogbuu, said.
The Dean, Student Affairs, Prof Edwin Omeje, thanked the VC for his interest in students’ welfare, stating that the last time a new block was laid for students’ hostel in the university was 42 years ago.