‘Visitation panel not on witch-hunt mission’

The Presidential Visitation Panel to the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State has called for cooperation from workets and students to ensure it delivers on its mandate.

Chairman of the panel, Prof. Abiodun Olotuah, who made the call at the inaugural meeting of stakeholders from the institution, said the mission of the panel was not to witch-hunt the polytechnic, but for system enhancement.

Education Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu, recently released a list of visitation panels to 38 universities, four inter-university centres, 25 Federal Polytechnics and 21 Colleges of Education as approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, with a directive to submit their reports in six weeks.

Olotuah said the goal of the panel was strict adherence to Federal government’s terms of reference – including – the institution’s atmosphere over the period of 10 years, the conduct and comportment of its personnel, especially staff, students and managers.

He said: “Government constituted this panel to take a careful look at the institution. We have a duty to look at the entire atmosphere and that is why we are calling on the entire polytechnic community to cooperate with us in order to deliver on this mandate.

“Government discovered decadence in the institutions over the years. The panel ought to guide government to take appropriate decisions and as well, summount some challenges facing our institutions. So, we are not here on witch-hunt mission but to serve the institution and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Earlier, the polytechnic Rector, Dr. Francisca Nwafulugo said most of the institution’s programmes were fully accredited, while a few others had interim accreditation.  She announced plans to represent some of the programmes to the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) along with new ones.

She said the management, under her watch has taken delivery of five gigantic buildings through Tetfund and office complex for the Deans which was completed through the institution’s internally generated revenue.

She further said many stagnanated members of staff were promoted, converted or upgraded to inspire them for maximum productivity, an action and decision she said was in line with her promise of improving staff welfare.

She said: “Our polytechnic relates well with the host communities of Ufuma, Atani and Oko and as well sustains peace between management, staff and students, especially unions in the campus.

“Within our two years in office, God has helped us to complete five gigantic structures sponsored by Tetfund. These include a multi-purpose hall, the School of General Studies building, the Renewable Energy building, an ICT building, Agricultural Engineering building, among others. We were also able to complete a 1.23 Kilometer road to open up the extension site where we have a concentration of our buildings.

“With efforts made by management, Tetfund has approved a continuation of some abandoned projects. So, very soon, we shall commence work on them.We also have some other structures at various levels of completion.

“For example, the Food Technology Laboratory building, the Chemical Engineering building, which will be one of the most impressive structures on campus when completed.  A two-storey building was recently completed and furnished with  Internally- Generated Revenue for the Deans of Schools in accordance with NBTE regulations”

On his part, the newly reconstituted Governing Council chairman of the Polytechnic, Mallam Kale Kawu, who was represented by a council member, Kamelayefa Omonibeke assured that a harmonious working relationship would prevail among the council, presidential visitation panel and the management of the Polytechnic.

He said the council, in its policy formulation function, would ensure that government addressed declining academic standards and unstable academic calendar, adding that transparency and due process would guide their operations.


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