Minister Tasks Polytechnics on Production of Skilled Manpower

The Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has charged polytechnics in the country to rise up to the task of producing best and efficient skilled and productive manpower. The Minister gave the charge in an address he delivered at the 13th joint convocation ceremony of the Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State which was held on 12th May, 2018.

The Minister who was represented by the Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education, Dr. Masa'udu Adamu Kazaure reiterated the roles of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the growth and development of the nation which he said informed the reason why much emphasis is being placed on science, vocational and technical education by the present administration,

“We are also encouraging and supporting research in institutions through numerous research grant and intervention from agencies like TETFUND, PTDF and other government agencies”, the Minster added.

He stressed the need for the strengthening of the technical colleges where technicians for the industrial development are produced adding that the need for strengthening and institutionalization to ensure demand led skilled development by the private sector cannot be overemphasized.

"It is in this respect that we adopted the National Skills Qualification Framework to be an important tool for the development of demand driven skills training for Nigeria”, the Minister noted.

He further explained that the framework will serve as a platform for articulation and integration of different training sub-systems and qualifications as well as instrument for recognition of prior learning outcome and pathways between different skills development routes.

The Minister urged the NBTE to continue the partnership with the non and informal training providers to ensure that the non-formal training is certified under NSQF and urged all states government to revamp and revitalize the TVET institutions in their states.

He congratulated the graduands on the successful completion of their programmes and urged them to let the education acquired reflect positively in their entire endeavours while also urging them to be good ambassadors of the institution.

In his remark, the Chairman of the Polytechnic Governing Council, Dr. Ismail Abiodun Layonu (SAN) said that the Governing Council is committed to the total transformation of the Polytechnic to be one of the best in the country by challenging its members to ensure the sustenance of peace and harmony on campus.

He urged the academic board to improve on the standard of academic activities in the institution warning that drastic measures will be taken on cases of social vices involving staff.

He said that technological advancement may be achieved by exploring the hidden potentials in polytechnics and colleges of technology, stressing that "polytechnics must be pushed to take the front seat in the quest for national technological development and rebirth”.

He commended the NBTE for making the establishment of entrepreneurship centres as part of criteria for accreditation of all programmes, noting that the polytechnics have the capacity of producing technicians, technologist, engineers and business entrepreneurs who are well trained, equipped and groomed to create jobs for themselves and others.

No fewer than 3,911 students comprising two sets of graduands of 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic sessions were awarded diplomas and certificates. Out of this number, 1,620 were awarded the Higher National Diploma (HND); 2,951 National Diploma (ND); and 340 the National Certificate in Education (NCE).

Of the total number of graduands, 114 graduated with Distinction, 866 Upper Credit, 1,987 Lower Credit and 844 got Pass grade.

In his address at the event, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Arc. Muhammad Sani Aliyu said that the management of the Polytechnic has planned and implemented aggressive capacity building mechanism in academic research, capacity development through mandatory intensive staff training development orientation. He added that so far, the institution has produced 30 Ph.D. degrees, 28 Master degrees, 21 first degrees and about 68 other qualifications. In addition, over 200 staff have benefitted from sponsorship to conferences and workshops in and out of the country.

 Arc Aliyu said that the Polytechnic is one of the most peaceful, fast-growing and stable institutions in the country, adding that the institution was the best among all the polytechnics that participated in the National Science and Technology Exhibition for Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. According to him “our students have continued to justify our huge investment in them in terms of character and learning.”

Arc Aliyu said the Polytechnic has also made significant effort in areas of development and construction of new science complex at the permanent site which has since been occupied by staff and students, the medical centre which is now in full operation, the Gayi farm with the view to contributing to the Federal Government's efforts of diversifying national economy through agriculture. He added that the construction of the department of Building Technology project is at 95% stage of completion.

While informing that the Polytechnic has embarked on massive development of infrastructure through the 832 million naira TETFund normal interventions covering 2014, 2015 and 2016, the Rector disclosed that the institution has also secured a zonal intervention of 75 million naira for the provision of lavatories and procurement of additional students' buses. The institution was able to construct an administrative block for the school of Accounting and Finance at the cost of 29million naira funded through the internally generated revenue.

The Rector who informed that the institution is among the few polytechnics in the country that offer NCE programmes, further disclosed that the institution offers training in about 50 programmes, 42 of which are accredited by NBTE and eight by NCCE. He added that in response to the quest for national development and increasing demand, the institution is talking with the NBTE for the take-off of new programmes including; HND Computer Science, ND Mechatronics Engineering, ND Food Technology, ND Agric Technology, ND Human Resources Management, ND Mass Communication and ND Computer Engineering.

The climax of the occasion was the conferment of Fellowship Award of the Polytechnic on four eminent Nigerians who through their selfless service have made remarkable contributions to the society and humanity, they included; the Kebbi State Governor, Sen. Atiku Abubakar Bagudu; DG NADDC, Abuja,  Malam Jelani Aliyu, MFR; Alh. Suleiman Basaura (post humus); and Haj Kulu Abdullahi Zuru.

There was also an exhibition of projects fabricated by students of the institution which included Crushing Machine, Rice Straw Shredding Machine, Electronic White Board Cleaner, Micro Controller, Based Fish Feeder, Micro Controller Based Mobile Robot, Micro Controller Based Automatic Door Lock, Cereted Knives Cassava Peeling Machine, Hearing Aid Device, Grains Planting Machine, and Rice Wider Machine among others.