By Fidel Ozugha.
In continuation of our efforts to inform the public about the activities of the management of Anambra State Polytechnic in Mgbakwu (ANSPOLY), Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria, here is the interview granted to The NationGuardNews (NGN) online by the School’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Chukwuanu Okafor, on behalf of the Rector, Dr. Nneka Mefoh. As said earlier, it is served in series. So read this edition, served raw, and wait for subsequent ones that will come at later dates. Pictures needed to support whatever point were used in the earlier publication.
NGN: Going down the memory lane, how has it been with the School in the area of infrastructure?
PRO: In the Area of Infrastructure, we are gradually getting there and will keep improving on what is on ground presently.
NGN: Gov. Willie Obiano upgraded the College to a Polytechnic, what else has his Govt. done to make the Polytechnic a School of first choice for learning?
PRO: Yes, he did A Legacy Project in the Upgrade because the Polytechnic will and is already serving Ndi Anambra, the Nation and the World at large. Testimonies abound. Anambra State Government under his watch has done the most crucial thing to sustain the Polytechnic and its life. He followed up with the Anambra State House of Assembly passed into law the bill establishing the state-owned polytechnic which he graciously accented to thus giving the Institution the needed legal recognition with the Anambra State Polytechnic Law 2017. He went further to invite the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, through the trio of the ANSPOLY Management, Council and Ministry of Tertiary Education, for Resource Inspection, Verification and Accreditation of the Institution and the Departments in 2018 and 2019 and got the accreditation in 2019.The State Government of Chief Willie Obiano got ANSPOLY enlisted in JAMB and approved and enlisted with TETFund for interventions funds. The Governor has started a lot of infrastructure and human development projects, some completed, some ongoing and some to commence in due course.
NGN: Last year, 2019, your students staged a peaceful protest at the Gov’s office. Why?
PRO: Yes, they did. Why? The question should not come at all, as there was no need for the protest in the first place. The students complained of bad roads and non-accreditation of some programs. Already , the State Government had commenced the construction of access road to the Polytechnic and internal road network but the contractor suspended the work due to heavy down pour experienced during last rainy year’s (previous year’s) rainy season. Also, the Polytechnic had paid for NBTE Resource Inspection and was waiting for the date (note that all these good developments were briefed the students) when the students took to the streets in September (2019).
NGN: Are they better now relative to that time?
PRO: Who? Students? There has never been a time when the Management and Government do not put the welfare affairs and interest of the students, staff and entire Polytechnic community at the forefront. We will continue growing better and better always. For instance, the access road was successfully completed immediately after the rains of last year. The Resource Inspection visit was held in October 2019 (few weeks after the protest)
NGN: Why can’t your school have her own staff instead of relying on State Govt staff from Ministries, Departments, Agencies, etc? Adhoc staff?
PRO: The Polytechnic is a state-owned and thus under the control of the State Government under the watch of His Excellency. And so as the directive that got them in implied, all of the staff we have now that came from the MDAs are now ANSPOLY Staff. The State Government is working out the modalities for transferring the staff completely to the Polytechnic. Transition is a gradual process and the most sensitive issues are handled first and will gradually be completed. While awaiting further staff recruitment some staff are taken on temporary basis in the interim, hence the terminology ad hoc, it is not peculiar to ANSPOLY alone.
NGN: How do you react to the allegations of fraud, intimidation, blackmail, sychophancy, nepotism, inequity, etc against your government (management)?
PRO: Government? However, I don’t and have not seen any of the above mentioned playing out here if that’s what you want to find out. If anybody has said otherwise, you can always come to the office for one on one chat and to see things for yourself.
NGN: Why is your govt. regarded as a sole administrator? How do you describe your leadership style?
PRO: Hahaha. Thank you Sir. Sole Administrator? I wouldn’t know what whoever used this mean. We run an all-inclusive and open Management. All tertiary institutions are usually run by committee system and ANSPOLY has numerous committees running its affairs for all inclusiveness and best practices
NGN: What challenges does your govt encounter in your efforts to give the school your best?
Like other institutions and establishments, there will always arise challenges from time to time and which are tackled as they come with a view to sustaining the tempo of development. Generally, the global recession is affecting every spheres of human endeavours and ANSPOLY is not an exception. However, as a result of prudent management of the State affairs by HE Willie Obiano, the major challenge facing other institutions which is staff salaries is being properly managed. Hence, the major challenge is time for every plan to mature. Thank you.
NGN: Does your school have staff Union? If yes, how cordial do you relate to the body? If no, why?
PRO: Staff Union? Please, you may wish to clarify? However I can tell you that the relationship between the Management and Staff is cordial at all times.
NGN: What’s the students’ population and staff strength?
PRO: We are doing good in this area and it can only get better and continue getting better my brother. However, there are information you may have to visit the School and be directed to the appropriate office for better understanding, if need be for such.
NGN: Why did some senior staff resign few months ago, students’ population drop?
PRO: Some Senior Staff resigned few months ago? For clarity, no staff resigned here to the best of my knowledge. You may wish to check your information again? As for the drop in the student’s population, it’s not unusual as we have to adhere strictly with the NBTE and JAMB’s new directives for admission and had to work within the limit of the good advice. However, as we are now (a) fully accredited Polytechnic and enlisted in JAMB, we have started massive admissions advert and hopefully the students population will sky-rocket this 2020/2021 academic year.
NGN: What do you think that makes one proud of the school presently?
PRO: Very good and welcome question. There are many things numerous to mention here. You need to really come and see things for yourself my brother. The PRO will take you around when you come so that you feel the serenity of the environment and verify and confirm the information at your disposal right now. Conducive environment for learning and academic excellence, highly qualified teaching and non-teaching staff, equipped laboratories and good classroom blocks, ICT/Computer Lab, analogue and digital library, disciplined students, Students Affairs, Recognized Certificate to mention but a few.
NGN: Forecast where, with the current situation, the school will be in the next ten years to come.
PRO. With enrollment to TETFund interventions, the transformation of the Polytechnic will be so much that you may not be able to recognize here in less time than you projected. This is a fact my dear brother as Government does not develop school alone and with the interventions a lot of infrastructure and human development will be seen here before long. There is also move for public private partnership. So, we are very optimistic that here will be all win win win. Thanks so much and God bless you and your tabloid.