As a way of appreciating and giving back to one’s alma mater, a group made up of like minds and an Alumnus of Abia State University, Uturu, called Zenith Environmental and Social Protection Network, (ZESPRONET), has completed a 44 bed Postgraduate Hostel at the campus.
The Hostel accommodation which gulped the sum of 80 million naira is borne out of the needs-assessment carried out by ZESPRONET, whose members are in diaspora and Nigeria.
Addressing newsmen in Umuahia on Thursday, the National President of the group, Sir Okere Bidwell, flanked by his colleagues, said the 44 bed Hostel is a project they embarked upon in 2019 when Prof. Uche Ikonne was the Vice Chancellor of ABSU to ameliorate the accommodation problems faced by Postgraduate students.
He said the foundation laying was led by the Pro-Chancellor of the Institution, Senator Adolf Wabara, noting that the edifice with modern equipment, according to available records, is the first time people of like minds who graduated from an institution would be embarking on such a gigantic project.
Sir Bidwell said the project spanned a year and nine months, revealing that it will be commissioned on Friday by Governor Okezie during the 27th and 28th combined convocation ceremony of ABSU on Friday 12th November, 2021, noting that their intention is not just to build an Hostel, but to re-right the wrongs, set precedence as to how things ought to be in the society.
He informed that ZESPRONET, as an NGO, comprising people of like minds they have assisted members in one way or the other, adding that now that the Hostel project has been completed, the group being mindful of the environment, intends embarking on free planting which will cut across the entire South-East
Sir Bidwell recalled that during the COVID-19, pandemic, the group came up with Radio jingles which helped in sensitizing the people on how to prevent themselves from contracting the dreaded disease just as he stated that the group also contributed towards upgrading the ICT centre with computers.
He commended the ABSU Management, past and present for the support they have accorded the group, pointing out that it wouldn’t have achieved all if they didn’t own up to the group on their needs.
Meanwhile, interacting with newsmen, the immediate past Vice Chancellor of the Abia State University, Uturu, Prof. Uche Ikonne, said the major stakeholders in an institution are the students who graduate to become alumni, adding that in Schools in other climes, percentage of the budget is allocated to the alumni because they return to give back to their alma mater.
He informed that when he took over as Vice Chancellor of the Institution in 2015, the Institution rendered some services and the Alumni was revived, adding that the Alumni donated computers to enable the Institution automate the computation of result process which gladdened the hearts of the Alumni.
Prof. Ikonne, who described ZESPRONET as outstanding, stressed that the speed they spent in building the postgraduate hotel is very instructive, while also appreciating them for dedicating the project to him.