After forty years of existence, construction works have begun for the building of the first students’ hostel at the College of Education in Warri, Delta State.
The hostel which is a one suspended floor story building reinforced concrete framed structure, when completed will comprise of 120 rooms and 480-bed spaces with common room, porter lounge, shops and conveniences attached.
The project is being executed by an indigenous firm, Ingowet Services Limited under a Public/Private Partnership PPP.
Ingowet is the private partner in the collaborative infrastructure delivery process while College of Education Warri, under the state Ministry of Higher Education, is the public partner.
The Chairman, House Committee on Health and member, House Committee on Education of the Delta State House of Assembly, Hon Augustine Uroye, the Orosuen of Okere-Urhobo Warri Kingdom, Okumagba The Second and other selected dignitaries performed the official foundation laying ceremony for the hostel project which held on Wednesday at the College premises in Warri.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman, House Committee on Housing, Hon. Ferguson Onwo expressed thanks to the management and governing council of the College for the initiative noting that globally the funding of education is not something that is left in the hands of government alone.
“So, if you see an investor who wants to invest, you try as much as possible to encourage the person.
“This is a novel idea. It is the first time this is happening in the academic community in Delta State hence the need for management and the governing council to ensure that the project is brought is to fruition so that the students and management can benefit directly from it,” Onwo noted.
Corroborating the views of Ferguson, Hon Uroye expressed deep appreciation to the institution’s governing council, management and contractor for the partnership which he noted requires courage and trust considering the difficult time economically.
He noted that: “The profitability aspect of the project is secondary but the succour the project will provide to the students and the College community is the paramount thing”.
Earlier, the Chairman, Governing Council, College of Education Warri, Mr Thomas Olisaemeke Abanum, said the hostel project is among the three development pillars outlined by the council when they came on board a year ago.
Abanum stated that: “This is not a state government project but rather an arrangement based on Build, Operate and Transfer between the College and an Investment Development Partner.
“I wish to appreciate the state government led by our amiable Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for providing the enabling environment for the school management and governing council to think and work outside the box.
“I want to thank our development partner, Ingowet Services Limited for keeping to the terms of the MOU and mobilizing to site as promised and agreed upon.”
Also, the Provost of the College, Professor Mary Edema said, “INGOWET is today laying the foundation for the first hostel in the over 40 years of the College existence.
“The investor is to source for the funds to build the hostel which we hope will be completed in 12 – 18 months, and the College is to help run the hostel with them to recover their investment over the next 25 – 30 years and then it will revert to the College. Unless there is a stable environment for this to work, it will have a far-reaching effect on further investments in the College.
“Warri is an expensive city both in terms of accommodation and cost of living and this has adversely affected the ability of the College to attract students from other areas of the country for its NCE and Degree programmes. To help solve this problem, the College, two years ago rented a building in Edjebba where it was able to provide accommodation for about 100 students, which was a small start but one that helped us to assure parents and guardians that their children/wards will have no accommodation problem if they come to Warri. With this 100-room hostel, we have taken a giant leap forward,” said the Provost.
As part of ensuring a hitch-free execution of the project, she appealed to Royal fathers of the host kingdoms to appeal to their subjects to make interference in the building project minimal so as not to unduly raise the cost of the project and forced it to an abandoned project.
In his address at the occasion, the Project Manager for Ingowet Services Limited, Hon Clement Aduze noted that “Public/Private Partnership PPP, is a global concept in infrastructure delivery because government alone cannot provide the required infrastructure for the citizens.
He disclosed that: “The design and layout of the hostel building make it stand out as a masterpiece, well-conceived and depicted and when constructed, will meet the need of the students in terms of aesthetics, function and fitness for purpose and value for money.
“It is intended that this building will be constructed with a very high standard of workmanship and specification in order to reduce to a considerable degree, the total running and maintenance cost of the building over its projected life span.
“Ingowet Services Limited placed this project as one of our priority project hence the construction of this modern hostel building is on a fast track to enable both parties put the project to use as soon as possible to achieve the aim and objectives of this collaborative infrastructure delivery,” said Aduze.