Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has decried the low placement of the state educationally, stressing that his vision for education is to see Nasarawa State among the top most educationally advantaged states in the country.
Engineer Sule made this known when he hosted members of the governing council and management of the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology Lafia, at the Government House, on Wednesday.
According to the Governor, his administration has continued to take appropriate measures towards uplifting the standards of education in the state, amongst which was ensuring that tertiary institutions in the state, as well as other agencies in the educational sector, undergo processes that promotes only merit in the recruitment of teaching staff.
Engineer Sule said educational institutions in the state now must undergo thorough process of screening and interviews before recruiting their staff, rather than patronage.
“What we want to establish in the whole institutions, is you go through the process so that you will appreciate it. People actually come in based on interviews, based on screening, not necessarily who you know. People will appreciate their jobs some more,” he stated.
The Governor pointed out that Nasarawa State is currently at the bottom when it comes to education placement in the country, adding that, the only the state can rise to an appreciable level is to ensure that staff are recruited based on merit.
He explained further that, in a bid to improve the quality of education in the state, his administration succeeded in upgrading the Isa Mustapha Agwai Polytechnic Lafia to a proper polytechnic, with four technical courses accredited, as well as the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology Lafia, from a monotechnique to a polytechnic, with 9 courses accredited.
Not only that, the Governor said his administration succeeded in introducing an innovation for collaboration and partnership with key federal government agencies, to afford both the IMAP and COAST, opportunity to effectively synergize with the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) Lafia, established by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), as well as the Wing Commander Abdullahi Ibrahim Technical and Vocational Institute managed by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
He added that, his administration saw the need to site these two institution deliberately close to both the IMAP and COAST, in order for students of these two state-owned institutions, to utilize the sophisticated facilities available for carrying out practicals and other research that will further enhance learning.
Engineer Sule noted that, even the interventions ongoing at the COAST Lafia by his administration, was done not because the state has plenty of financial resources but because it was necessary in order for the institution to be upgraded to a polytechnic.
“With due respect, when we came in, even the IMAP Lafia that we are calling, was not a really polytechnic. It was not. It has never been. Because they never had one technical accreditation. All the courses they were offering none was technical. So we came in and capitalize on that. You have 9 accreditation now, they had four technical accreditation. And they are now a polytechnic,” he stated.
Engineer Sule said his administration has thus succeeded in establishing two polytechnics in the state.
While appreciating the governing council, as well as the management of the institution, for running an all inclusive administration, particularly the Provost, Dr Yahaya Musa Maikeffi, for his prudence, the governor assured the members of the council who have just served their first term, that government will be transparent in appointing a new governing council for the institution.
Earlier in an opening remarks, Chairman, Governing Council of the COAST Lafia, Dr. Dominic Bako, said they were at the Government House, to inform the Governor of the expiration of their tenure as members of the council.
Represented at the event by Alhaji Dalhatu O. Mamman, the governing council chairman informed the Governor that the intervention by his administration, the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology Lafia is now a polytechnic.
“Following the last visit by the National Board for Technical Education, to find out the competence of this institution by way of resource accreditation, if we could ran the institution as a polytechnic, out of the twelve programmes we presented, 9 were approved and to hereby giving us the status of a polytechnic,” Dr. Bako said.
Dr. Bako, who doubles as the Director General, Nasarawa State Bureau for Public Procurement, recalled that, when the council was appointed in 2018, the then College of Agriculture Lafia lacked visibility.
He appreciated the past administration of Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura for erecting a fence around the institution, as well as constructing the asphalt road leading from the entrance of the institution.
The governing council chairman specifically thanked Engineer Sule for promptly coming to the aid of the institution mostly as a result of his love for science and technology education, renovating five classrooms burnt by fire and approving the construction of a storey building of 12 classrooms and 24 lecturers offices.
“Your attention to that institution, no doubt accounts for what it is today. We deem it fit therefore, that on ending our first term, council should come to appreciate you for the wonderful opportunity to have given to the institution to advance, from a mere monotechnique and to now a polytechnic,” he stated.
As a further show of appreciation, the members of the governing council presented Engineer Sule with a plague.