I am committed to reforming Akwa Poly – Rector
…urges students to report cases of harassment, extortion to management
Rector of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Dr. Moses Umobong has expressed commitment to reforming the institution in line with global standards of excellence and academic prowess.
The Rector stated this while briefing newsmen on the State of the Polytechnic on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at the School campus.
The Rector who recalled his days as a student of the campus when it was then the Ikot Osurua campus of the University of Cross River (UNICROSS), vowed to uphold the integrity and dignity of the school under his administration. “I will do everything to uphold the name of this institution because I finished from this premises”, he said.
Applauding the state government for giving the institution the needed footing to emerge the best Polytechnic in the country, Dr. Umobong informed that the school has never been denied any basic need by the state government.
Buttressing his assertion, the Rector led newsmen around the school premises where he showed them the
Institution’s Workshop where all forms of wood processing and finishing takes place as well as the Showroom; the Block Factory and the Shopping Mall.
“The Shopping Mall is owned by the Akwa Poly Staff Cooperative to accommodate petty traders and prevent them from causing a menace at the school entrance. The school moulds blocks as a means of getting Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). The students mould the blocks and practice their technical knowledge which would sharpen their skills for self-employment after school”, Dr.Udobong stated. .
However, the Rector lamented the role played by students in the unending war against corrupt practices among lecturers in the institution.
“It is difficult to fish out those involved in sorting because even the students that pay will never tell you that they do so. Even when you beg them to confess, they still deny it. I’ve even asked them to go through their Union leaders but nothing came out of it”.
“Sometimes, we hear of such rumors but when we call on the student(s) involved to confide in us, they deny that anything ever happened. And we can’t take any disciplinary action in such cases”, he said.
Worried that this attitude was impeding justice and giving strength to the perpetrators, the Rector called on the students to be bold, daring and courageous enough to approach the authorities if harassed by any lecturer.
Reacting to allegations that he recently increased the school fees above the affordability of students, the Rector stated in clear terms that that there has been no increment in school fees since he came on board in 2019, and that the same which was approved by the governing council of the school, can be found on the institution’s website.
“This is the fee I inherited since I came in 2019, you can find that out from the students or the website”, he said, while presenting hard copies of the fee schedule to newsmen.
He also debunked allegations that he created a separate account and diverted funds meant for the school in collaboration with the immediate past Rector, Israel Affia.
“The question should be, how much did I divert and which bank did I divert the funds to? Students pay fees to the school designated account only and we operate through remita so we have no physical contact with money. Government does not release funds directly to the institution but through the ministry. We are not given subventions or grants to pay ourselves. Government pays us so there’s no room to handle finance. They should have allowed the man who just retired to rest rather than bringing him to public ridicule”, he said, referring to his predecessor.
Speaking on his relationship with staff members and students, the Rector registered that the coexistence amongst them was cordial and harmonious. “We have not registered any level of protest since I came in. We commissioned the staff club recently with students and staff in attendance. We do not also have any case of riots or cult clashes. By God’s grace, we provide everything to make them comfortable. We have an accommodation with internet facilities and stand-by generator”, he informed.
Countering the notion that he is untouchable, Umobong expressed that he is bound by the law to respect the rules of the Polytechnic Governing Board. “I am guided by the rules of the governing board. Nobody is untouchable. The law is no respecter of persons”.