By: Ugochukwu Iwuji

The Management of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede has uncovered a sinister plan to incite students of the institution to go on a protest against the Polytechnic over demands for which the students have been engaged.

It has also noted the provocative graphics and fliers being circulated to malign the image of the institution.

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Recall that the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE had rated the institution as the best-performing polytechnic in Nigeria.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB has also rated Federal Polytechnic, Nekede as the most-sought-after polytechnic while TETFund declared it as a Centre of Excellence.

Similarly, management has observed the wave of misinformation aimed at defaming the rector of the institution, adjudged thrice by major national bodies as best rector in the country.

Thus, management uses this medium to warn parents and guardians to rein in their wards so that they are not used as willing instruments for a misguided protest by enemies of the institution who are bent on discrediting the hard-earned reputation of the pace-setting institution.

Already, security forces have been put on red alert in dealing with the evil devices of the agenda plotters as well as to unravel their individual identities.

Recall that the Rector, Engr. Dr. M.C. Arimanwa, in a meeting with the Student Consultative Council (SCC) held on October 31, 2022, engaged the students on sundry issues raised by them which were not matters that would in any way merit a demonstration.

There were the issues of the newly introduced Quick Response Coding of Statement of Results, Certificates and Transcripts, which the institution had championed before they became policy issues by the Federal Government through the National Board for Technical Education.

Students did not want the QR coding of these vital documents to attract extra charges even when the polytechnic was going to procure the softwares at exorbitant rates.

Similarly, students did not want to pay extra money for O/Level verification of results even when WAEC had increased their charges by over 100%.

Other complaints bordered on power stability, opportunity for part time students to do the National Youth Service, seat fee for part time students, high bank charges, textbook price, among others.

Like a father and gentleman cleric he is, the rector calmly but exhaustively responded to all the issues raised.

On the issue of the QR-coding of results and sensitive documents, the rector informed the students that it was a directive from the Federal government which was meant to serve as an authentication technology for results and vital documents while promising to reduce the charge upon meeting with his management team.

He also added that every institution is meant to collect a QR-Coding fee on all vital documents, and the polytechnic was not an exception.

The rector also stated that WAEC O/Level verification was increased by over 100% by the examination body, bringing the charge to N4500 from the N3500 it used to be.

He emphasized that the verification of results was a sine qua non for any institution to admit a student hence the polytechnic was not doing anything different.

On the issue of Microsoft and Seat fees charged part-time students, the rector noted that they were necessary charges used in maintaining facilities in the institution in view of the fact that the Federal Polytechnic does not fund the part-time programme.

He also observed that some other higher institutions charge their part-timers two times the fees charged by the institution, stating that Nekede was exceptional in that direction.

He explained that the law setting up NYSC does not permit part time students from serving, as they are only programmed to collect Exemption Certificates which serve the same purpose as the Discharge Certificate.

Regarding the request of the students to conduct one CBT examination per session, the rector stated it was not in the place of students to determine what and how an examination is written, pointing out that “a person writing examinations does not determine how he would write it.”

In the area of power supply on campus, the rector disclosed that the polytechnic was making effort in stabilizing power so that students can conduct practicals unhindered.

He noted that the cost of 33,000 litres of diesel which used to sell at N7.2M a few years ago now sell for over N30M, thereby putting enormous pressure on the finances of the institution.

To this end, the rector disclosed that Management had engaged the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to stabilize power in the institution, while exploring other alternative sources of stable power.

The rector also cleared the air on the FEDPONEK Consult account, stating that it is a valid account used for monies that are not going into the TSA.

He also pointed out that the account is auditable.

Meanwhile, the rector has stated that the money paid for the TEDC was inadequate going by the challenges of the directorate.

He also revealed that most of the lecturers in TEDC are adhoc staff that are hardly sustained by the money generated by the unit.

On the issue of textbooks, the rector stated that the Federal Polytechnic Nekede operates the lowest price regime on textbooks of all the higher institutions in Nigeria because it has a price ceiling on the range of textbooks sold to students, the minimum of which is N800 and the maximum N2500, for textbooks above 200 pages.

The rector reiterated the stand of management that sale of books is not compulsory in the polytechnic, while urging students to report any lecturer extorting them through an SMS to designated numbers earlier published by the institution.

The rector also offered detailed explanations on sundry issues which bordered on policies and standards which may not be upturned in the interest of the educational system.

He also entertained reactions from student leaders who were offered the liberty to speak their minds.

This is in line with his open-door policy which is anchored on sound ethical principles and institutional sustainability.

The Federal Polytechnic Nekede has been on the lead in infrastructural development and robust digital deployment compared to other polytechnics in Nigeria, reasons both the institution and its rector are outstanding among their peers.

It is therefore not unexpected that there are interests within and without which may be complicit in discrediting the frontline institution for selfish gains.

These merchants of negative media and purveyors of destabilization are strongly advised to steer off the institution.


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