The Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, has embarked on the construction of 10 students’ hostels at a cost of N1.2 billion, its Vice Chancellor, Prof. Hilary Edeoga, has said.
Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday in Umuahia, Edeoga said that the project was being funded from the institutions internally generated revenue (IGR).
Edeoga, who conducted newsmen round some of the projects undertaken by his administration since inception in March 2011, said that the hostel project became necessary to alleviate the suffering of the students.
He said that six blocks would be for the female students while four would be for male students, adding that the project, awarded in February, would be completed in the first quarter of next year.
He explained that the two-storey building which had 32 rooms on each floor, would take an average of four students per room.
“Students are facing a lot of difficulties over accommodation while a bed space in Umudike goes for N120, 000 annually,’’ he said.
The vice chancellor expressed gratitude to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for funding capital projects needed for expansion in the university.
“If not for TETFUND, I don’t know where the university would have been,’’ he said, noting that the institution’s annual capital budget allocation was about N320 million.
Projects being funded by the agency in the institution included N87 million College of Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology and Extension and N116 million College of Natural and Applied Sciences buildings.
Others are N150 million College of Veterinary Medicine and an 800-KVA generating set valued at N32 million.
He explained that the University still had about N590 million waiting to be accessed from the fund.
“The University last accessed funds from the agency in 2007/2008 because projects were not being executed, so the fund accumulated to about N1 billion which we are now accessing,’’ he said.
He promised to complete all the inherited uncompleted projects, including the university’s library valued at N58 million.
Edeoga explained that the university had gone into commercial agriculture, including poultry, fishery, piggery, snailry, fuel station and the acquisition of 25 cars for shuttle services to shore up the IGR.
He explained that the university recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Japanese firm to upgrade an ICT Resource Centre acquired at a cost of N50 million.
The over four kilometres of road projects are also being constructed at a cost of N88 million with the university’s IGR.
Newsmen were also shown 60 KVA generating sets bought by the administration for each of the 14 colleges in the university at a cost of N4 million each.