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5th Anniversary: Fmr A’Ibom Poly Rector Offers Thumps Up To Gov Emmanuel


As Gov Udom Emmanuel marks his fifth year in office, the immediate-past rector of the Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua, Dr Israel Affia, has scored him high on his performance.


Affia scored the governor highly in education, industrialization, infrastructure provision, the strategy in handling COVID-19 pandemic as well as revolution in the transport sector.


He said: “Let me particularly single out the education sector, maybe the bias will always be there because I’m from that sector. I’ve just come out from that angle. Before the governor came on board, certain things, to my mind, were not in their right perspectives. I will particularly talk about Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic where I was.


RELATED: 5th Anniversary: Governor Udom Emmanuel marches on


“We had lot and lots of accreditation problems. That is not to discredit the former administration at all, but it was during his tenure that we recorded massive windfall of accreditation of our programmes. You will remember that in 2017, we presented a total of 30 programmes and we were able to get accreditation for 29; that was no mean feat. That could not have been possible without proper funding.


“As head of that institution for six years, I was also monitoring what was going on in other sister institutions in the country. And so I have a basis of comparison, for example, when we go for meetings and, we brainstorm. Many of my colleagues will remark: Akwa Ibom, I don’t want to talk about your own. You’re lucky that you have a governor that is education-friendly. In fact, if you hear the lamentations of some of the head of institutions, in particular states-owned polytechnics, you’ll just be fanning yourself and telling God thank you.


“Apart from sister institutions in other states, I was also monitoring what was going on in Akwa Ibom State University, College of Education, Akwa Ibom College of Arts and Science Technology, so you see that he cuts across. I can safely say that he has done well. I will not also fail to comment in the secondary school section. As an educationist, I was also interested in what happened in the primary and secondary school levels. The Governor is somebody who is convinced that the basis of development is education.


“His industrialization policy has been fantastic. He has brought to bear so many industries including metering company, syringe, flour mill, fertilizer plant, pencil and toothpicks and many others. These were things we used to see in other states but today, Gov Udom Emmanuel has through foresight, commitment, effective leadership and focus brought to our state. These apart, from services rendered, have brought employment to our teeming unemployed youths.


“You talk about agriculture, transportation, name them. He has done very well. The one that has singled this state out as a state to be reckoned with is in the transport industry, in particular, aviation. I feel very proud when I sit among people from other states and they will say, you are the only state that is running an airline in this country. Boy that is no mean feat! We’re very proud. So in totality of what I have to say, for the five years he has stayed so far, he has done well.”


Affia, who is also a lawyer, advised the governor “not to listen to sycophants; not to listen to people, who, no matter what you do, they cannot see anything good in what others are doing, and that is why such people don’t progress.”


He added that all these will not have been possible without God. “There are persons who will sit in place and nothing happens. There are also people from the very first day they go to that place, things start to happen. I see that in this governor. Things have started to happen because he allows himself to be directed by God.”


He suggested that for the remaining three years, the governor should broaden the industrialization by expanding the existing industries to create more employment opportunities. “I look at unemployment as one of the banes of the society. Unemployment, we always say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So, if we’re able to tackle unemployment, much of the burdens on government would be lessen and we can only do that through industrialization.


“The next one will be agriculture. I did not used to think agriculture was that important until lately. I have seen that agriculture is a sector that will transform an economy, if it is properly harnessed and of course you know that agriculture will open up so much employment opportunities.


“On education, very fine, if the tempo so far is maintained. I will appeal to government to restore imprest to institutions, no matter how much, it will help the institution.”

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