Governor Udom Emmanuel has charged the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic authorities to incorporate Entrepreneurial development in the institution’s curriculum to facilitate economic advancement in the country.
Governor Emmanuel also announced a grant of N100m 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.
At the Polytechnic’s 6th Convocation for the Award of Fellowship, Diplomas, Certificates and Prizes, held at the School Convention Ground, Ikot Osurua, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, 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.
Emmanuel stressed 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 lies.
“We need to redesign our curriculum and see how we can train 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 his administration will continue to invest in the education sector in a determined effort to prepare the Akwa Ibom child for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, stressing that quality education will remain one of the cardinal responsibilities of his government.
The Governor, who is the visitor to the institution, hinted that the State Government is planning an education summit that is 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, to put things in the right perspective.
He expressed delight that the state Polytechnic has attained the status of the most sought-after Polytechnic in the country, within its short years of existence, describing the feat as a good testimonial of the quality of training offered in the institution.
Emmanuel commended the academic staff of the Polytechnic for their commitment in ensuring that graduates from the institution compete favourably 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 graduands 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.
In his address, 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 rancor.
Dr. Umobong maintained that the Polytechnic is poised on retaining the ‘most sought-after’ status earned over the years, appreciating the Gov Emmanuel-led administration for giving the school a leverage to stand out in academic activities and affiliations with several Professional Bodies including the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, ANAN and Nigeria Institute of Architecture, NIA.
He pointed out that over 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.
The Acting Rector, however, noted that despite carrying out the directives of the state government in recruiting additional 100 personnel which make up a staff strength of 640, the institution is still in need of manpower to enhance effective service delivery, seeking approval for further recruitment to address the acute staff shortage occasioned by accreditation of more courses, rise in student population and due attention to special subject interest.
Also speaking, the Acting Chairman of the Institution’s Governing Council, Dr. Samuel Edet, expressed appreciation to the state government for the earlier grant of N200m for the upgrade of facilities in the institution to meet the NBTE accreditation requirements, explaining that the initiative recorded 97 percent success as a total of 32 out of 33 programmes presented, gained accreditation status with commendations from the officials of the Board.
Dr. Edet applauded Governor Emmanuel for the regularisation of the condition of service of staff, harmonization of scheme of service and payment of arrears from 2013, announcing that the Council has concluded plans to name a new academic block after the Governor, in appreciation of his invaluable contributions to the Polytechnic.
He said that the institution has recorded tremendous growth in recent times, acknowledging a drastic reduction in cult-related activities and examination malpractices while remarking that students have returned to the hostels that were vacated several years ago.
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 srudents, 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.
Earlier, 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, Nnung Ukim, Ikono and College of Education, Afaha Nsit, had presented goodwill messages to the Registrar of the Polytechnic.
Hiighlight of the ceremony was the conferment of Fellowship Awards on the Wife of the Governor, Martha, Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District, Obong Bassey Albert, Former Chairman of the Governing Council of the Polytechnic and Senator-elect Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, Dr. (Mrs.) Akon Eyakenyi and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Barrister Onofiok Luke.
Others were; Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, the State Accountant-General, AG, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien as well as the Managing Director of Ubotex Nigeria Ltd, Elder Ubong Obot.
Prior to the commencement of the Convocation Ceremonies, Governor Emmanuel had laid foundation for the construction of a 52-room academic block to provide more space for the staff and students of the Polytechnic.