…..AS 6TH GOVERNING COUNCIL RATES COLLEGE HIGH IN DEVELOPMENT
The 6th Governing Council, Federal College of Education (Technical), Umunze, has expressed satisfaction with the state of development in the institution after a facility tour of the two campuses. Members of Council, at their inaugural meeting in the College, held from July 18 to Friday 21, 2007, promised to work with all stakeholders to consolidate the gains already recorded in the College and chart further progress.
The Chairman of the Governing Council, Barrister Ibrahim Radda, said the facility tour was prompted by the desire to ascertain the true state of learning facilities and building projects in the College. He said the facilities in the College rank among the best in the country, stressing that the expansive College library with over 10 million book resource is second to none. Other members of the Council include the representative of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mrs Helen Abdu, the NCCE representative, Surveyor Paul Onochie, Hon Uche Anakor, Edmond Nkalu, representing the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE). Others include the College Provost, Prof Josephat Ogbuagu, mni, the representatives of the College Academic Board, Dr (Mrs) Jane Chinyere Madichie and Dr Christopher Ugwuogo, and the College Registrar and Secretary to the Council, Sir Augustine Udensi.
Barr. Radda said members of the Council were elated by the transformation of the College, describing it as an evidence of good leadership by the Provost, Prof Josephat Ogbuagu and his management team. He noted that with the current state of facilities in the institution, the College has maintained a pride of place in the comity of Federal Colleges of Education in the country.
More accolades for the College came during a courtesy visit to the traditional ruler of the host community – Umunze, His Royal Highness, Igwe Promise Ezeh, Abilikete 11 on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. The royal father pleaded with the Council members to lend their support in elevating the College to full-fledged University of Education, the first of its kind in the entire South east geopolitical zone. He noted that on assumption of office, the Provost, Prof Ogbuagu promised to attract degree programme to the College and commended him for honouring his words.
“Today, this College is one of best in the country. Anyone that graduates from this school is always outstanding. The College is known for producing students that excel in character and learning. The College is cult-free and with no students’ unrest or violence,” he explained.
Igwe Ezeh also pleaded with the federal government to construct the second link road to the College. According to him, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, saw the plight of staff and students of the College on the dilapidated road and promised to construct the Nsogwu Road, which had been renamed Willie Obiano Boulevard. The traditional ruler further pleaded with the Council to consider the appointment of a qualified candidate from the host community to succeed the outgoing Provost, noting that no indigene of the area had ever served in that capacity since the inception of the College in 1989.
In his response, the Council Chairman promised to address the peculiar challenges facing the College. He assured the traditional ruler that the selection of the next Provost would follow due process, which allows every qualified candidate from any part of the country to apply. He explained that a candidate from the host community that meets the necessary requirements would be considered for the job.
Barr. Radda appealed to some aggrieved union members to sheathe their sword and work with the Council for the peaceful resolution of any trade dispute. He said the Council would stand on a neutral ground on issues affecting the College and would not pander to parochial sentiment.
Also speaking, a member of the Council, Hon Uche Anakor, from Anambra State, said he was overwhelmed by the rapid transformation of the College within a short time. According to him, he had visited the College three years ago.
“Going by what I saw during our inaugural meeting in the College, the development was unprecedented. The College now has a lot of structures, and has moved to the Permanent Site. As an Anambra indigene, I can tell you that this state is the light of the nation. This College is a light to other Colleges of Education in the country. The school is doing well,” he said.
Hon. Anakor, known by the chieftaincy title of Omambala, said the desire to elevate the College to a full-fledged University of Education was raised during the Council meeting. He said the Council would lend the necessary support to this lofty aspiration of becoming the first Federal University of Education (Technical) in the south east geo-political zone. He said the pedigree of the College has risen with the success recorded in the running of the degree programme, in affiliation with Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
“I believe that in no distant time, we are going to accomplish the desire of becoming a Federal University of Education (Technical). The College has the wherewithal, in terms of personnel, facilities, location, among others. The location of the College is unique. It can be accessed by people from Abia, Imo, Enugu, Delta, Rivers, and Anambra states. Already, the College is running degree programme. I don’t think there will be any hindrance to the quest to upgrading it to a university,” he argued.
“We will approach the federal government, TETFund to see how to build more structures. If you are talking about becoming a university, there is need for more classroom blocks, auditorium, and other facilities. We are going to throw our weight behind that proposal and see what we can do to assist the school by looking out for necessary funding of these projects. To upgrade from a College to a university requires a lot of processes,” he explained.
He commended the cordial relationship between the College and the host community, and promised that the Council would ensure that such amicable relationship continues to flourish. He lauded the Provost, Prof Ogbuagu, for providing the required leadership that had transformed the College to a centre of excellence. He said Prof. Ogbuagu left indelible footprint in the College, noting that he would be missed on completion of his tenure next year.
“I personally think the Provost has done so well. I raised the issue the other day. I told him that if it was possible to give him a third term, I would strongly support it. But then, the College was established by an Act, which stipulates two tenures for the Provost. I learnt that when he came to the College, the population was less than 2000, but he grew the students’ population to over 5000. When it comes to building projects, he has done so well. His achievements cannot be washed away”, he said.
Anakor expressed hope that Ogbuagu’s successor would take the College to greater heights. He said the Council would not allow any successor to drag the College down to the mud.
“It is our prayer that whoever will emerge as the new provost will perform more than the current Provost. If he will not do more than him, let him remain at the same level that Prof Ogbuagu has placed the school, not pulling the College downwards,” he noted.
In fostering the required goodwill across the state, the Council members also visited Aguleri town to commiserate with the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano on the death of his mother.