The Akwa Ibom governor has reiterated his administration’s determination to reposition the Akwa Ibom Polytechnic (AkwaPoly) to become Nigeria’s best and most sought after polytechnic in the country.
Mr Udom Emmanuel who stated this, Tuesday, during the inauguration of major projects in the polytechnic said he was proud of the many successes of the polytechnic’s management and governing council which has seen the institution previously ranked 99th in the country when he took office as governor on May 29, 2015 now into the 18th position presently.
Represented by the commissioner for education, Mrs IdongesitEtiebet, the governor expressed gratitude to all stakeholders of the polytechnic community, noting with delight that while the institution had only 19 courses with full accreditation when he came into office in 2015, the institution today has 35 courses with full accreditation and vowed to ensure that modalities were put in place to ensure accreditation for newly introduced courses when the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) visits the institution for the next phase of the accreditation exercise.
He commended the management, staff, students, and all relevant stakeholders for their support to the Umobong-led management team which has led to zero cultism in the polytechnic since he came into office and lauded the students for their steadfastness and discipline.
“AkwaPoly students are role model for other tertiary institutions to emulate when it comes to cultism. Since 2015 when my administration came on board we have not heard a single incident of cultism in AkwaPoly and this is one achievement other institutions must come and learn from and emulate,” he said.
The governor urged the students to continue to maintain the enviable record of AkwaPoly being a cult-free tertiary institution and advised them to avoid social vices that may be inimical to their future and general wellbeing. He assured that cultism is a vice his administration is determined to stamp out in the education sector.
Emmanuel thanked TETfund for providing the institution with a world-class digital library and called on both staff and students to take advantage and make good use of the facility to read, research, study and learn, while admonishing the students to utilize the skills development centre aimed at grooming them to become skilled and employers of labour upon graduation so as to be self-reliant.
The rector of the polytechnic, Dr Moses Umobong, described the project commissioning as a watershed in the historical milestone of the institution, recalling that when we came on board as rector, he promised to do everything within his power to change the narrative of the polytechnic.
He appreciated the visitor to the polytechnic, Emmanuel, for his support to the institution and his approval to build the skillsacquisition centre, a Woodcraft and Cabinet Department which the governor granted approval including the buildings, workshop, showroom and machineries.
Going down memory lane, Umobong said the TETfundsponsored digital library project commissioned by the governor was initiated by his predecessor, Dr Israel Afia, which was at 50 per cent completion level when he assumed office as rector.
“Today gladly, my administration has not only facilitated completion, but has also ensured that the necessary fixtures and all relevant reading materials are fully in place for use by the institution.
“I therefore urge both the staff and students of this great citadel of learning to take advantage of the facility which is ward second to none in the state, so as to improve on their academic capacities for the good of our state and nation.
“All TVET institutions in the country are enjoined to introduce skills acquisition programme to enable graduands and students acquire both formal and informal training that will aid self-reliant.
“Today, Akwa Ibom Polytechnic has joined the league of institutions that embraced skills acquisition,” he stated.
According to Umobong, “The department of woodcraft technology will no doubt complement the state government industrialization drive but preparing the middle-level manpower to fill the envisaged vacancies in the industrial sector of the state economy.
“Already, work on woodcraft factory alongside an ultra-modern showroom with state-of-the-art equipment has been completed for commissioning”.
Others include: Aluminum windows and doors; armoured doors and several allied products to boost the supply of the products in the local and international markets”.
He explained that the ultra-modern shopping mall completed and inaugurated is aimed at ensuring an admirable ambience for staff and students comfort.
“The shopping mall which has over 70 shops when operational,will automatically relocate business operators from the mammy market to the new mall, thus allowing the landscape of the institution to admit aesthetics.”
The rector noted with delight that the Department of Mass Communication was not left out of the touch of the infrastructural renaissance blowing across the polytechnic community, as his administration has expanded and completely transformed the department to an appreciable standard in line with NBTE requirements.
“The Communication Theatre which accommodates radio, TV and print studios has experienced complete turn-around and re-systemization. These facilities which awaits final touches, will enable students to gather enormous knowledge and acquaint themselves with modern broadcasting techniques in the industry”, he assured.
Goodwill messages were received from the chairman, Governing Council, Mr Ekpenyong Ntekim, and the permanent secretary, Ministry of Education, Lady Rose Bassey, while major projects inaugurated by the governor include: the TETfund sponsored digital multi purpose library, a woodcraft and cabinet centre.