The Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, UNIUYO, Professor Nyakudo Ndaeyo, has commended the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, for reviewing its policy on foreign post-graduate scholarship programmes.
Professor Ndaeyo spoke when the NDDC Interim Administrator, Mr. Efiong Okon Akwa, paid him a courtesy visit at UNIUYO Senate Chambers. He said that the previous system where the Commission sponsored students on foreign scholarships for post graduate studies was not sustainable, adding that it was better to train the students in universities in the Niger Delta region.
The Vice Chancellor said that in the light of current events, it had become necessary to use our universities in the Niger Delta region and sponsor more students for post graduate studies, noting that in a world struggling to survive the Coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, it was necessary to redirect attention to Nigerian universities.
Professor Ndaeyo, thanked the NDDC for assisting the university to ease the pressure of accommodation by building a modern hostel for the students.
He stressed the urgent need for the new students’ hostel, especially in view of the necessity to provide the university’s undergraduates with a conducive learning and living environment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer had earlier told the Vice Chancellor that the Commission completed the students’ hostel project on the university, following 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 a comfortable and safe environment.