The Vice-Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba, yesterday, commissioned one of his signature projects, eight new bungalows of 2-bedroom flat each constructed by the University’s Parents’ Forum as part of their support to his vision of making the institution a virtual community where staff and students live and interact together as one big family.

On assumption of office over two years ago, Professor Nwajiuba had vowed to put the necessary machinery in place to ensure that most of the university staff live on campus. Recounting the benefits of virtual community, the Vice-Chancellor had noted that it was wrong and risky to leave the students all alone on campus and for staff to travel long distances to and from work each day, adding that the sure way to have the university develop rapidly was for most staff and students to live on campus.

VC, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba carrying out the traditional cutting of tape to mark the commissioning of the projects, while the DVC, Professor Sunday Elom, Chairman of the Parents’ Forum, Professor Samuel Igwe and a member of the Forum Executive, Dr. Adewale Adeolu watch with interest

Consequently, the Vice-Chancellor taking into cognizance of the poor state of finances in the university decided to think-out-of-the-box, eliciting the support of the AE-FUNAI Parents’ Forum, an umbrella body of parents and guardians of the university students, which he inaugurated in 2016, in building staff quarters to make his dream a reality. The synergy between the Forum and the University Management among other achievements so far led to the construction of eight bungalows of 2-bedroom flat each, in the first instance. This has set in motion the realization of the vision of making the university a virtual community where staff and students live, work, study and interact together as a family.

Other sets of bungalows commissioned built by Parents’ Forum and commissioned yesterday by the Vice-Chancellor

While speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the Chairman of the AE-FUNAI Parents’ Forum, Professor Samuel Igwe noted that the event was to commission 8 over 10 units of 2-bed room bungalows built by the Forum, adding that the idea was conceived in July 2017 as a means to further scale down the security challenges of on-campus life.

“Today history is being made at AE-FUNAI as great men and women of Nigeria gather to witness another feather being added to the cap of this young university. We are here to witness the commissioning of 8 over 10 units of 2-bed room bungalow built by FPF”, he stated.

Chairman, AE-FUNAI Parents’ Forum, Professor Samuel Igwe leading the VC, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba and members of management to inspect the building

He also thanked the parents who made the project realizable through their resilience, personal sacrifices, contributions and commitments, stressing that the Forum had also embarked on other intervention projects in the university such as provision of lecture seats for students learning, perimeter fencing of the university to check security lapses, landscaping and extension of electricity within the newly built bungalows.

He further noted that the Forum has been working without any interference from the university authorities, thanking the Vice-chancellor for giving them free hand to execute their projects and for allowing them to inscribe their logo on each of them. Concluding, he maintained that the Forum was geared towards embarking on other intervention projects to enable the university soar higher above its contemporaries.

Speaking at the event, Vice-Chancellor who obviously was elated, noted that the university under his administration was irrevocably committed to deploying all its resources to change the institution, stressing that at the end of his tenure people would look back and be happy that something different has been added in making the institution great.

He noted that as a student at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, he admired their staff quarters and the community life lived by staff and students, adding that it was his vision to ensure that such is replicated in the university. He also vowed to make conscious effort to ensure the university becomes a reference point in Nigeria by insisting on excellence, integrity and quality.

“We shall try to work and be conscious of the fact that the trees we are planting now, we may not necessarily eat of its fruits or sit under its shades but with hope that generations still unborn shall eat from it”, the vice-chancellor stated.

One of the detached eight bungalows commissioned yesterday by the Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor maintained that: “This generation of staff and students has been called to build this place. And we are going to do it with all sincerity as if it is our own.”

Appreciating the Forum for their commitments towards developing the university, especially in realizing some landmark projects in the university during his tenure, the Vice-chancellor stated that the management was happy to partner and work with them. He promised to ensure that the projects of the Forum do not suffer under the tragedy of Commons as evidenced in most public institutions in Nigeria.

The event was witnessed by principal officers, Deans and Directors, Executive of the Parents’ Forum, Heads of Academic and Administrative departments, staff and students.

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