Governor Udom Emmanuel has turned down naming of a 52-room academic block in Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua in Ikot Ekpene local government area of the state after him for being at the foundation level.
Emmanuel had, on arrival at the institution’s premises for the Award of Fellowship, Diplomas, Certificates and Prizes, held at the School Convention Ground, Ikot Osurua, on Saturday, laid foundation for the construction of the block to provide more space for the staff and students of the Polytechnic.
While addressing the Polytechnic’s 6th Convocation, the governor’s remark was against naming the project after him for non-completion.
“I would have been happier if the building named after me was completed. I do not think it is proper to name an uncompleted block after me. Rather, a completed block should be named after me,” the governor noted.
He, however, charged the school authorities to incorporate Entrepreneurial development in the institution’s curriculum to facilitate economic advancement of the country.
He noted that the re jigging of the curriculum would enable students of the institution to become job creators after graduation rather than job seekers, stressing the need to ensure qualitative contents and capacity building in all programmes of the polytechnic.
“Every singular aspect of our development in education should look at entrepreneurship because that is where the next line of action for economic development of any developing country lie.
“We need to redesign our curriculum and see how we can achieve training our people to come out and create jobs instead of following the design of African method of education in training people to come out and look for jobs,” Emmanuel stated.
He assured that in a determined effort to prepare the Akwa Ibom child for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, his administration would continue to invest in the education sector, stressing that quality education will remain one of the cardinal responsibilities of his government.
The Governor, who was the special guest of honour at the event, stated that the state government is planning an education summit aimed at reshaping the sector, adding that he would soon announce proper Governing Councils for the Akwa Ibom State University, AKSU, and the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic.
He lauded the state Polytechnic for attaining the status of the most sought-after Polytechnic in the country, within its short years of existence, describing the feat as a good testimonial to the quality of training in the institution.
Emmanuel commended the academic staff of the Polytechnic for their commitment in ensuring that graduates from the institution compete favorably with their counterparts across the globe, noting with satisfaction that the school operates the best Information Communication and Technology, ICT, programme across Polytechnics in the country.
While congratulating the graduates on their attainments, the State Chief Executive directs the school authorities to commence yearly convocation of graduates, lauding the Governing Council and students for their efforts in making sure that cultism was eradicated from the institution.
The Governor expressed gratitude to the NBTE for their support, thanking the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, for periodically sponsoring some training programmes in the institution and promised the state government partnership in sustaining such trainings.
Emmanuel used the occasion to announce a donation of N100 million for the institution to commence processes of securing full accreditation of few outstanding courses that were earlier granted interim accreditation by the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE.
The acting Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Moses Umobong, stated that the institution is zealously pursuing the fulfilment of its objectives in training and research in the Applied Sciences, Technology and other fields to meet the manpower needs of the nation, adding that their collective resolve is to ensure a peaceful environment devoid of divisiveness and rancour.
Dr. Umobong maintained that the Polytechnic is poised on retaining the ‘most sought-after’ status earned over the years, appreciating the Emmanuel administration for giving the school a leverage to stand out in academic activities and affiliations with such professional bodies as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN and Nigeria Institute of Architecture, NIA.
He announced that more than 400 graduates of the Polytechnic have been inducted and granted licences for professional practice by the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology, NIISLT, attributing the feat to the high standard and quality of training following a decade of accreditation of the Science Laboratory Technology Programme in the institution.
Despite carrying out the directives of the state government in recruiting additional 100 personnel which make up a staff strength of 640, the acting Rector noted that the institution is still in need of manpower to enhance effective service delivery, particularly seeks approval recruit more staff to address the acute shortage caused by accreditation of more courses, rise in students’ population and for special subject interest
The acting Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Dr. Samuel Edet, thanked the state government for the earlier donation of N200 million for the upgrade of facilities in the institution to meet the NBTE accreditation requirements, saying that the initiative recorded 97 percent success as a total of 32 out of 33 programmes presented were accredited.
Edet also applauded Governor Emmanuel for regularization of the condition of service of staff, harmonization of scheme of service and payment of arrears to staffers from 2013, announcing council’s plans to name a new academic block after the Governor.
He said that the institution has recorded tremendous growth in recent times, and acknowledged a drastic reduction in cult-related activities and examination malpractices.
Edet listed some of the achievements of the Council under his leadership to include setting up of integrity committee to check corruption among staff and students, resuscitation of radio and television studios on campus for practicals by Communication Arts students, refurbishing Civil Engineering equipment abandoned since 2011, reactivation of the institution’s moribund Medical Centre and provision of a functional pharmacy on campus.
Representatives of different tertiary institutions including the University of Uyo, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden, Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Rivers State, Federal Polytechnic, Ukana, College of Science and Technology, Nung Ukim, Ikono and College of Education, Afaha Nsit, presented goodwill messages.
Fellowship awards were conferred on Martha, the governor’s wife, Obong Bassey Albert, Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District; Dr, (Mrs.) Akon Eyakenyi former Chairman of the Governing Council of the Polytechnic and Senator-elect, Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, and Onofiok Luke, Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
Others were Prince Ukpong Akpabio, commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry; Uwem Andrew-Essien, the state Accountant-General as well as Ubong Obot, the Managing Director of Ubotex Nigeria Ltd.