Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, said that it spent N1.5bn of its internally generated revenue to construct 10 hostels within one year.
The institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof Hillary Edeoga, who told the News Agency of Nigeria this in Umuahia, added that the initiative was to provide comfort for the students.
“Before I was appointed in 2011, there were only two hostels in the institution. When I came on board, I constructed 10 hostels in one year and these hostels were inaugurated by the former Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai.
“We built these hostels from our IGR and each room has a toilet — a kind of self-contain for the four occupants.
“We started construction in August 2012 and completed them in August 2013.
“Having inaugurated the new hostels, we decided against charging the old rate of N10, 000 per room per academic year which was the rate in the old hostels nicknamed ‘Ajegunle,’ whereas, the new hostels nicknamed ‘Abuja’ attracted N60, 000 per session, which was not compulsory.
“In fact, we made alternative accommodation arrangements for the few students we could not accommodate in the `Abuja’ hostels.
“Also, some of those who had paid but could not get accommodation in the new hostels were given the option of either to have their rents refunded or use them next academic session,’’ he said.
Edeoga said the N60,000 the authorities charged the students covered accommodation, transportation and other facilities.
The VC said the university provided free 20 buses and taxicabs for the students.
He, however, said beneficiaries could only enjoy the free campus shuttle upon the presentation of their hostel identification cards.
Edeoga said that prior to his appointment, some of the colleges were on the verge of being merged but he reversed the plan by ensuring that their courses were accredited by the relevant professional bodies. “Also, our JAMB quota rose from its initial 1,250 to 5,000 at present within three years,’’ he added.