By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
The Federal government has disbursed over N6.3billion to Federal Polytechnic, Bali, Taraba State through Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention.
This is even as the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa commissioned 22 projects for the use of the polytechnic as a way of encouraging the institution to become a Centre of Excellence in Agriculture Technology.
The commissioned projects are Academic Staff Office Block, 500-Seats Capacity Lecture Theatre, Electrical/Electronics and Computer Engineering Complex, 500-Seats Capacity Library Complex, 280 Seats Capacity ICT Centre Annex, One-Storey Block of School of Environmental Science and Technology, and One Block of 2nos Laboratories for Chemistry and Biology.
Others are Building and Civil Engineering Workshops, Block Making and Concrete Practical Shed and Implement Shade, Animal Farm Complex, Two 60-Seater Luxurious Buses, One 30-Seater Coaster Bus, Four 16-Seater Toyota Hiace Buses, One Combined Harvester Automobile, One 10,000litres Capacity Water Tanker, and Four Toyota Hilux.
Speaking during the commissioning exercise, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Saidu Umaru Jen who disclosed that his institution has received a total intervention disbursement of N6, 313,900billion since 2011, stated that the money enabled the polytechnic to construct various physical infrastructure and procure several academic facilities for science and engineering programmes.
The elated Rector explained that the provision of the required facilities through TETFund intervention has made it possible for the polytechnic to complete self-study questionnaires for 11 National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes as required by the national Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for resource inspection visitation.
The programmes include Computer Engineering Technology, Electrical-Electronic Engineering Technology, Building Engineering Technology, Architectural Technology, Agric and Bioenvironmental Technology, among others.
Adding that through TETFund interventions, the polytechnic has been able to improve on its human resource capacities, Dr. Jen pointed out that, “a total number of 114 staff have attended conferences, while 40 academic staff have completed Masters Degrees programmes; nine are undergoing Masters studies and seven undergoing Ph.D programmes under TETFund AST&D programme.”
He expressed profound gratitude to TETFund for its support and expressed happiness that the visit of the Executive Secretary of the Fund to the polytechnic would enable him to witness and confirm the various projects have been executed by the institution.
Also speaking during the ceremony, the Chairperson of the Governing Council of the polytechnic, Hajia Aisha Yelwa while thanking the TETFund boss for the visit, described the commissioning ceremony as a milestone in the history of the polytechnic as it was the first time a Chief Executive of TETFund would visit the institution.
She stated that the role of TETFund in providing critical infrastructure and equipment for teaching and learning cannot be overemphasized as it remains the most reliable means of getting facilities that enable tertiary institutions to compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe.
Hajia Yelwa noted that the projects lined up for commissioning is an assurance of the readiness of the polytechnic to compete favourably with other tertiary institutions in the country in terms of infrastructure, notwithstanding that it was established less than a decade ago.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa expressed happiness at the extent of growth the polytechnic has witnessed since its establishment.
He commended the management of the polytechnic for its foresight in providing not only the needed infrastructure and equipment for programmes already being offered by the institutions but those that are being anticipated, saying that planning ahead is extremely crucial to the educational sector and the nation in general.
Dr. Baffa who noted the impending population growth of Nigeria as being forecasted, said that the present government is serious about planning for the needed developmental indices that will help take care of the well-being of the citizens.
The TETFund boss lauded the institution for the focus on agricultural technology, pointing that it is part of the effort of the present administration to diversify the Nigerian economy as well as provide jobs for its teeming population through large scale farming backed with modern technology.
TETFund team for the commissioning exercise led by the Executive Secretary include the Director Monitoring and Evaluation, Mal. Umar Mari, Head of Legal Unit, Barrister Adamu Abubakar, Ag. Head of Project Management Department, Mal. Buhari Mikailu and others.