The Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa at the weekend held its 10th combined convocation ceremony when it graduated a total of 18,835 students, out of whom 11, 731 bagged the award of National Diploma (ND), while 7, 104 bagged Higher National Diploma (HND) in various programmes.
The school also conferred its honorary fellowship on 6 eminent Nigerians.
The Rector, Dr Esv. Abdullahi Alhassan Ahmed, in his convocation speech, disclosed that it was a combined convocation for four sets of graduating students between 2018 and 2021.
“We are here today for the Combined 10th Convocation Ceremony, covering the graduands of 2017/2018, 2018/2019, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Sessions,” he said.
Welcoming the number 1 guest at the convocation ceremony, President Buhari, Governor A.A. Sule of Nasarawa State
and all the other stakeholders to the event, the Rector also said the event was in fulfilment of the Polytechnic’s determination to ensure that the Institution does not have any backlog of qualified students who are yet to convoke.
He explained why this year’s was still a combined convocation saying, “As you may be aware, it is exactly four years today since we held the last Convocation Ceremony of the Polytechnic. To be precise, the 9th Convocation was organised by this same Management, under the guidance of the same Council Chairman, in June, 2018.
“The 2018 Convocation was a combination of five graduating sets which had been in arrears. Council frowned at that delay and resolved that from that point on, Convocations were to be held as at when due, and without any arrears. Management was directed to comply with Council’s decision. As the saying goes, “man proposes, God disposes” Plans were already on for the convocation of 2017/2018 to be held when Covid-19 struck.”
On the conferment of the institution’s hononary fellowship to deserving Nigerians, he said the 6 eminent Nigerian personalities were recommended for the highest honour the polytechnic can bestow on any one for their various contributions to national development, namely His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi A. Sule, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State; Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Hon Aminu Sulaiman Goro, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services; His Royal Highness, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibrin, Emir of Nasarawa and former Minister of Environment, Federal Republic of Nigeria; His Royal Highness, H.E. Alhaji Halilu Bala Usman’ Ogsu Ajiri; former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, and the late Alhaji Jibrin Mairiga , the 9th Emir of Nasarawa (posthumous award).
He noted that the institution had been able to record some modest achievements with the support of stakeholders of which the 10th combined convocation ceremony is just one.
I want to report, with every sense of modesty, that we have recorded some modest achievements in our efforts to providing a conducive environment for research, teaching and learning. Some of these achievements. This could not have been done without the support of the Federal Government, especially through TETFund interventions.
Briefing the audience on some of the achievements, the rector said: “In our determination to attain academic excellence, we have had to transform the contents of our curricula by renovating existing programmes, introducing new ones and embarking on academic collaboration with internationally recognised Institutions. We have done all this in line with the objectives for which the Polytechnic was established and in a way that they will contribute to national development.
“Since the last convocation, we have successfully introduced and commenced new programmes in many different courses at the National Diploma and/or Higher National Diploma levels. The courses introduced are such that would make positive impact on our teeming youths and the nation at large.
“In a related development, teams from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) visited the Polytechnic in so many different occasions for the purpose of verification and accreditation of programmes. I can confidently say that all the programmes being run in the Polytechnic have been fully accredited and approved by the NBTE. And, in addition to NBTE’s accreditation and approval, other relevant bodies have also accredited our professional programmes.
“In this regard, I am pleased to say that the establishment of new courses has expanded our student enrolment, thereby creating additional access to the teeming Nigerian youths seeking admission into tertiary institutions.”
On infrastructural development, the Rector said the Polytechnic had in recent years benefitted from substantial investment towards improving its physical infrastructure, majorly through the TETfund and other interventions agencies.
He said: “May I use this singular opportunity to express our profound appreciation to the Federal Government of Nigeria for its massive allocation to this Polytechnic, especially the recent grant of the TETFund High Impact Project, aimed at making the Polytechnic a Centre of Excellence, the Construction of Roads through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Construction of ICT Resource Centre through the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
“Permit me, also, sir, to express our appreciation to the following Organisations for their assistance to the Polytechnic: The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) for building and furnishing a mini-lecture auditorium of 200 – 150 siting capacity for the Department of Banking and Finance of the Polytechnic, a project still on-going;
The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) for the Donation of ICT Equipment through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), and
The National Insurance Commission for the proposed construction and furnishing of an ICT Resource Centre.
“Given the acute infrastructure deficit that has bedevilled the Polytechnic for most of its existence, it is heart-warming that several critical projects are now being undertaken, and are at various levels of completion.”
He also mentioned that in the areas of
collaboration and linkages, awards and laurels earned by students, and human capital development, the school had equally done well so far.
He equally highlighted challenges opposing the efforts to turn the school into an academic centre of excellence, notable among which were: Limited Funding to provide the required facilities needed for the provision of a conducive environment for teaching, research and learning; epileptic Power Supply to guarantee the running of machines and equipment in laboratories and workshops for practical classes, as he appealed to the federal government to provide alternative power source for the Polytechnic through the Federal Ministry of Power.
Other challenges include: lack of access roads and drainages, which he said had rendered most of the buildings difficult to access, especially during raining season; inability to provide accommodation for up to one-third of of student population due to inadequacy of hostel accommodation.
“While we passionately appeal to the federal government to assist the polytechnic in this area, we are appealing to well-meaning individuals, organisations and corporate bodies to assist the Polytechnic, through the Private-Public-Partnership policy of the federal government. Considering the need for monitoring security on our campuses, as well as, control of students’ conduct, the provision of hostel accommodation is highly imperative,” he entreated.