The University of Calabar (UNICAL) has sought the help of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in boosting its infrastructure.
This was done through the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Zana Itiunbe Akpagu during a courtesy visit to the NDDC. He was received by the Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba at the Commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
Akpagu appealed to the Commission to intervene in its building of an Ultra Modern Medical Centre, noting that since the inception of the university in 1975, the Centre had operated from a 4-room apartment. He added that with the current population of 46,000 students, the facility had become grossly inadequate.
He equally pleaded with the Commission for a massive expansion towards building an engineering faculty, stating that UNICAL was the only Second Generation University without an Engineering Faculty.
He further appealed for support towards the construction of a new Senate building, stressing that the current Senate building was built to accommodate 5 Senate members, but the School had grown and currently had 450 Senate members.
In his response, Ndoma-Egba stated the NDDC’s resolve to support the development of infrastructure in universities and polytechnics across the Niger Delta.
Senator Ndoma-Egba said that the main resource of any society could be found in its youths and not the natural resources or minerals. For this reason, he said, the youths must be skilled, motivated, educated and empowered.
“If the youths are not properly educated, skilled or motivated, rather than be a blessing to the society, they become a curse,” he noted.
He remarked: “We are concerned that our youths must remain a resource and not a curse to our region. That is why we are partnering with universities and higher institutions in the Niger Delta region to educate and produce some of the best minds the country will have to offer.”
Senator Ndom-Egba said that the NDDC was making efforts to ensure that all on-going projects in the universities in the Niger Delta states were completed, especially in the University of Calabar being one of the oldest universities in the South-South.
The NDDC board Chairman assured the UNICAL VC, that the Faculty of Law building which was on-going, would not only be completed, but would also be furnished, and would stand out to be one of the best Faculties in the country.
The NDDC is a federal government agency established by former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo in the year 2000 with the sole mandate of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria.