By Jude Atupulazi
The accommodation problems borne by students of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, Igbariam Campus, may now be a thing of the past with the commissioning of a massive and impressive 285-room world-class students hostel.
The private driven facility, located inside the university premises, named, Royale Garden Hostel Complex, was inaugurated by the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Catholic Archdiocese, His Lordship Denis Isizoh.
Speaking during the event, the hostel owner, Engr. Tony Adibeh, said the choice of citing the facility in the area was occasioned by the availability of space and the need to open up the area for further development.
He further disclosed that the decision to embark on the project was informed by the think home philosophy of the government as well as the need to create employment for youths in the area.
‘We decided to build the hostel in the university to ensure students enjoyed good and conducive environment as obtainable in the western world.
‘This project is sitting on a 70 plot of land which you can’t get anywhere in Awka, the state capital. Besides, we can’t all cluster in Awka that is already congested,’ he explained.
Adibeh described the hostel as the biggest in the region with the provisions of virtually all facilities needed by the students for conducive and easy learning.
He said the extra ordinary hostel complex contained 285; rooms all furnished, with two persons per room, as well as single room apartments.
‘Each room has two reading tables and chairs, two beds, wardrobes, curtains and bedspread, kitchen and bathroom.
‘The students just need to come to the hostel with their luggage and at the end of their tenancy go home with their bags,’ he stated.
He further listed other complimentary services in the hostel to include functional restaurant with 150 capacity, a fully equipped gymnasium with 50 capacity.
Others include a 200 capacity multipurpose hall with gallery for fellowship, and a shopping complex with business centre equipped with 30 computers.
He said that with the business centre, students would not need to go to town for their assignments, projects, printing, binding, passports, ID cards and other needs.
‘We also have a pharmacy with nursing station to provide first aid for ailing students before they can be taken to the hospital for further medical attention,’ Adibeh further explained.
According to Adibeh, a maintenance yard within the hostel premises with workshops for plumbing, carpentry and electrical services, was also among the facilities in the complex.
He disclosed that they engaged the services of artisans who were on standby for any repairs to ensure the steady maintenance of the hostel.
Assuring of a 24-hour power and water supply within the hostel complex, Adibeh who retired as Director, assured the students of maximum security with CCTV cameras and armed security personnel stationed within the hostel environment.
‘There are two 250KVA sound proof generating sets and solar lights to take care of security lights. We also have 2 boreholes with two massive overhead tanks.
‘We’ve also provided the students with two coaster buses from INNOSON motors to convey students to and fro school with a token fee.
‘As regards the rooms, we tried to be considerate and moderate because if we consider the facilities here, students can’t pay. It’s just a token of N300, 000 per room for each session.
‘We also have single rooms reserved for working class persons who will pay slightly higher,’ he disclosed.
The project was facilitated, designed and built by Group Captain (Arc) Ben Okoye (Rtd). He is also to manahge and maintain the hostel for optimal service delivery.