The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu, has appealed to the Chairman of the Board of the Niger-Delta Development Commission, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba, to come to the aid of the university in its infrastructural development efforts.
Prof. Akpagu who made the appeal while on a courtesy visit to the NDDC Chairman at the Board's headquarters in Port Harcourt, expressed dismay that as one of the oldest federal universities in the South/South region, UniCal was the least developed in terms of infrastructure and academic programmes.
He told the NDDC Board Chairman that the university was in dire need of high impact projects such as an Ultra-modern Medical Centre, a befitting Senate Building and Faculty of Pharmacy Building.
According to him, "the university still uses the temporary four room premises acquired for the Medical Centre since 1976. The number of students admitted has increased from 196 in 1975 to 47,000 in 2017. Consequently, the Medical Centre and its facilities can no longer cater for the needs of staff and students".
On the need for a Senate Building, the Vice-Chancellor said the University of Calabar was the only second generation university without a befitting Senate Building adding that the present facility which was designed for a mere 20 senate members at inception now has to cater for over 450.
Speaking further, Prof. AKPAGU intimated the Chairman of the NDDC that "the university has established a Faculty of Pharmacy and admission of students commenced in the 2016/17 academic session. There is an urgent need to have a modern Faculty of Pharmacy Building to meet the demands of pharmaceutical science studies".
The UniCal Vice-chancellor drew the NDDC Chairman's attention to some uncompleted NDDC projects such as hostel complex for Law students, the Senator Bassey Henshaw Centre for Indigenous Languages Building as well as the Faculty of Law Building which was originated and funded by the Chairman himself.
Prof. Akpagu used the occasion to express profound gratitude for the enormous assistance of the Commission to the University of Calabar.
He also praised the immense contributions of the NDDC to the socio-economic and infrastructural development of the entire Niger-Delta region.
In his response, the Chairman of the Niger-Delta Development Commission, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, expressed the resolve of the Commission to support the development of infrastructure in the University of Calabar.
He explained that the main resource of any society is the youths and not natural resources adding that youths must be educated, skilled, empowered and motivated
Senator Ndoma-Egba said, "if youths are not properly educated, skilled or motivated, rather than be a blessing, they will be a curse ".
He promised that the Commission would make necessary efforts to ensure that all ongoing NDDC projects in the University of Calabar and other universities in Niger-Delta states were completed within available resources.