AS you have finally bow out as Registrar of Yaba College of technology, Yaba, Lagos after 8 years of meritorious service; it gladdens my heart, not because you are leaving the office as Registrar, but because of your numerous achievements in the Registry and leaving indelible mark on the sands of time..
Therefore, I am convinced to use the words of Lyman Beecher, (1831-1863), a renowned Presbyterian Clergyman in England who wrote in the newspaper “The spirit of the pilgrims’’ and commented about his life. “I was made for action, the Lord drove me, but I was ready.
I have always been going at full speed, harnessed to the chariot of Christ, whose wheels of fire have rolled onward, high and dreadful to his foes and glorious to his friends’’ Corroborating this aphorism was our ancestral wisdom- which tells us that our strong arm of life depends on what we believe the Giver of life can do, seeing the future with spiritual eyes, and then take charge.
This was the direction Ms. Biekoroma Charity Amapakabo took while still in office. Her passion in life has always been to leave legacies that will last forever, thereby contributing her quota to national development and growth.
A woman who has proven the words of Harold Smith, former Colonial Master strategist, right when he gave a revelation about Southerners, that in their assessment of regions in Nigeria before independence, it was discovered in the South that, ‘’we found strength, intelligence, determination to succeed, well established history, complex but focused lifestyle, great hope and aspirations’’. It is therefore no doubt that the above mentioned qualities are the focal drive of Ms. Amapakabo which has taken her to the peak of her career.
Also, her industriousness, resilience and a high sense of responsibility with faith has contributed majorly to her achievements as Registrar. Ms Amapakabo became the second female Registrar and the first Registrar, from the South-South zone, Nigeria since 1947 that Yabatech was established and remained one of the most innovative and distinguished Registrars since inception.
For instance, on her assumption as Registrar in 2007, she meant a demoralized staff in the Registry who were blamed for almost everything in the College; lacked working tools and conducive environment for work, delayed promotion, upgrading of management staff, and accommodation. She left a Registry that is now cohesive, commands respect, and engendered a good relations with other departments and service units- a work force that is motivated, professional reward cum staff training and retraining.
She left a system where industriousness has become the watchword for promotion- now, a pride to all. The Registry under her provided effective and efficient services to staff, students, parents and the general public. Provided efficient academic service to the Governing Council, Academic Board, College management and all committees.
Participated in the policy making and implementation of the College vision. Ms Amapakabo in her blunt and principle manner, ensured justice, fairness, and synergy in all her dealings. Operated an open door policy where all senior staff and Junior were given the privileges to consult on issues affecting their employment status. No wonder The College Council Chairman, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) described her as ‘’ a woman of integrity who has remained resolute and maintained her veracity.’’
Today, Ms Amapakabo is happy that the structures she meant on ground have changed tremendously. That the expansion, restructuring and best global practices she left behind remain her joy. It could be recall that she initiated human capacity development programmes to ensure a professionalized human resource in service delivery in the Registry such as programmes, workshops, seminars, retreat and interactive sessions; conferences; established a well-equipped and effective verification unit in the Admissions Department now called Students Record Department. The former Registrar also initiated the digitalisation of Students Records and Staff records- in- compliance.
She ensured improved delivery of students’ service in the areas of registration, welfare, academic record management, improved timely release of statement of results, transcripts and certificates and introduced the production of certificates with calligraphic machine and the first Polytechnic to issue transcript online. Her achievements can be attributed to continuous doggedness and perseverance against all odds. Many may not know that she was a comrade who championed the struggle for the distinct identity of Polytechnics in Nigeria. She was the leader of the Polytechnic Sectorial Executive of Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Allied Institute (SSAUTHURIAI), whose effort brought about the formation of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) in year 2000 and later became the Pioneer National President of the Association.
Just like the Wife of the 2nd president of the United State of America, and the Mother of the 6th President of America, Abigail Adams wrote in one of her letters to her husband. John Adams (1744-1818) that “the race is not for the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto his people, trust in him at all times, ye people pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge”. This is another driving force of Ms. B.C Amapakabo, a woman of fame, honour and history.
Her strong will and desire is based on an utmost faith and confidence in the Almighty Created. She has demonstrated selflessness in a call to service which also gave her recognition and privileges such as participation in several local and international workshops and conferences in Nigeria, Malaysia, Lesotho, Israel, United Kingdom and the United State of America.
In recognition of her numerous achievements, she received awards, amongst which are; excellence award for meritorious and distinguished service to Yabatech,1998; Pacesetter award in recognition of her Philanthropic support to educational development and service to humanity by the West African Polytechnic Students Association, 2002; Distinguished Member’s award for commitment to growth of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, (SSANIP), 2008, Yabatech chapter; Merit award for pioneering role as founding president of (SSANIP) in 2010 by the National Executive of the Association.
Recognition award by the Nigeria Institute of Management, merit award for inspirational career woman of substance by Kirikese Community, Lagos, 2010; award for human capacity builder by Rivers/Bayelsa State Indigenes Association, 2010; award of excellence by agency for good governance and social development, 2010; award for excellence for motherly guardian to Rivers State students; meritorious award for selfless service to humanity and leadership by Lions Club Anthony Village, 2015; Award of excellence as Registrar of foremost Polytechnic, by Auchi, Polytechnic 2016, Afrikanwatch personality gold merit award as ‘’ Most distinguished administrator in Nigeria, 2017, Afrikanwatch excellence award for restructuring and repositioning Yaba College of technology registry, 2017 and others .It will interest you to know that this noble woman has left indelible mark on the sands of time.
As a lover of knowledge, and knowing the importance of the girl child education, she became more enthusiastic about her academics and finally got admission into the prestigious University of Lagos in 1980 and graduated in 1983 with an honours degree in English. She later obtained in same University Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA), 1987. In her further taste for knowledge she got another Master’s degree in Communication and Language Arts (MCA) from the University of Ibadan.
Others are the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) (1992) and the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Topo – Badagry, Lagos State. She also attended National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies NIPSS, Kuru-Jos, Plateau State (2015) and another degree in LL.B from the National Open University of Nigeria in January 2017.
Ms. B.C Amapakabo is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Chartered (FNIM), Fellow, Institute of Corporate Administrators (FICA), Fellow, Institute of Certified Public Administrators of England and Wales, (FICPA) Associate Member, Chartered Institute Personnel Management (ACIPM), Associate Member, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (ANIPR) and Associate Member, Nigeria Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (ACArb).
Finally, St. Paul tells in (2Timothy 4:7) ‘’ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Yes, Ms Amapakabo has won a victory for herself and her generation to come.
Mark Columbus Orgu is the editor-in-chief, Afrikanwatch, Lagos and one of those Ms Amapakabo has affected his life positively.