BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
WHEN Dr. (Mrs.) Cele Njoku was appointed the Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, some skeptics were of the view that her outing was going to be unimpressive, uneventful, drab and possibly agonizing for staff and students.
Another fraction felt it was best to just wait and see how her tenure would turn out to be, while an insignificant minority believed she was poised to deliver on her mandate. Some staff of the institution believed she was stepping into a large shoe left behind by the immediate past Rector, Onyekwere Nwankwo, an Engineer.
Indeed, Nwankwo made his mark in the school but the truth is that Njoku appears not overwhelmed by the successes of her predecessors. Events have since shown that she is very prepared to write her name on the sands of time. Any old timer to the school will realize that the reformation started from the gate.
Dr, (Mrs.) Njoku has for instance and within the past two and a half years, established an Industrial and Maintenance Services Centre, IMSC, where broken tables, chairs, cupboards and laboratory equipment can be refurbished instead adopting the former practice of purchasing new ones.
It is also on record that the school has witnessed radical infrastructural development transformation despite the overwhelming challenges. The gigantic structures and edifices springing up on campus are definitely things to behold. There are the evening and weekend programmes buildings, the 500-capacity lecture theatre, erection of the school’s perimeter fence and a fabrication centre to actualize the full technological status of the institution.
Mention must also be made of the fish ponds built for the Fisheries Department and Furniture Workshop that currently produce the tables, desks and chairs needed by the school. Other structures that stand to the credit of Njoku include the 500-capacity Auditorium, the ICT Centre and the New Polytechnic Gateway. Some other buildings are in various stages of completion. They include the gigantic School of Business Studies, the Entrepreneurship Centre, as well as the renovation of a number of other structures.
The Polytechnic Staff School now has a permanent site that is properly fenced. The Medical Services department has been expanded, renovated and equipped.
Speaking to newsmen recently, the Rector said: “My future plan is to strive relentlessly to build, sustain and improve the status of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, as a first-rate Polytechnic in Nigeria that would be comparable to the best of its kind in the world. I am poised to ensure that our products would be technologically sound, functional and capable of contributing effectively to the objectives of national development, within the context of the mission of the institution”.
Mission of the institution
Only recently, the Senate Committee on Education visited the institution during their oversight function. Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who led team, commended the Polytechnic management during a post-inspection press briefing.
Among the projects that captured the fancy of the senators included the newly completed evening programme building complex, the 500-capacity auditorium, the fabrication and nail manufacturing centre, nursery and primary school buildings, as well as the on-going ultra-modern School of Business complex.