The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Sunday inaugurated an ultra-modern 522-bed hostel, worth N427 million, for students of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) in Port Harcourt.
The NDDC Managing Director, Mr Bassey Dan-Abia, who inaugurated and handed the project over to the RSUST management, said that the building would ease accommodation challenge being faced by the students of the university.
Dan-Abia said the hostel accommodation, awarded in 2004 at the initial contract cost of N1.230 billion, was later reviewed downwards by the commission to N427 million.
“The prototype-hostel building has three floors of 57 rooms in each, totaling 171 rooms with standard space for 522 beds, with some of the rooms having three beds each while others had four beds.
“The rooms were constructed with provision of facilities for paraplegics and space that will enhance the standard of living of students of the university.
“The hostel has two common rooms, including other state-of-the-art facilities such as a beautified internal court yards for relaxation, green areas and a cyber café.
“Others are: a 25,000-gallon-elevated-water tank; a supplementary 10,000-gallon-surface tank with a water treatment plant, and an underground drainage system that aimed at avoiding ecological menace,” he said.
Dan-Abia added those similar hostels’ accommodation had been inaugurated in Imo State University; Federal University of Technology, Owerri; University of Benin, and the Delta State University, Abraka, among others.
The NDDC boss said that the current shortage of funds would not deter the commission from embarking on projects that would improve the living conditions of students in the Niger Delta.
Receiving the hostel, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of RSUST, Prof. Blessing Didia, commended NDDC for the gesture, saying that the hostel was among the few hostels with provisions for the physically challenged.
He said that the hostel would greatly ameliorate the acute shortage of accommodation on the university campus.
According to him, the university has a student population of no fewer than 20,000 and only about 2,000 students are currently accommodated on campus.
“You can, therefore, understand the joy of the university community for the great relief which this hostel has brought to the students and their parents,” he said.