The Commissioner for Education, Prof (Mrs) Viola Adaku Onwuliri, has paid her first official visit to the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo.
Addressing the Management and Staff of the institution, comprising of both principal officers, academic and non academic staff, in the presence of members of the Students Union Government at the Council Chambers, Prof Onwuliri observed that, there was not much of the Imo state government’s presence in the Polytechnic in the last eight years, since most of the projects were carried out by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
She assured them that the Rebuild Imo State Government would partner with the Federal Government and the TETFUND once more, so as to come to the aid of the institution. She beckoned on the Alumni of the Polytechnic to come forward, to assist equally as they are the permanent owners of the institution.
Prof. Onwuliri harped on the need for the state government to be furnished with the actual number of Staff on payroll, both teaching and non teaching according to gender, local government and the state of origin, and alternative revenue sources of the institution.
Other information needed by the state government from the Polytechnic according to her, include the various fees charged, sources of grants from 2012 and the total wage bill, adding that the knowledge of these would enable the Government to know where to come in and how best to assist.
She directed the Acting Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Patrick Njoku to ensure that the information on the above issues gets to her on Monday, September 2, 2019, while assuring that the Rebuild Imo Government would ensure that the Polytechnic will soon be where it is supposed be.
Prof. Onwuliri mentioned that the Ministry of Education Owerri, has opened a hotline no. 09072002947 for suggestions and complaints from the members of the public and must be by SMS only and warned against students unrest and sexual harassment in the institution.
Earlier, the Acting Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Patrick Njoku, while welcoming her, said that on assumption of office, he inherited a bloated wage bill, dilapidated infrastructure, demoralized workforce and three months arrears of staff salaries. He stated that his administration has restored a harmonious working relationship between the management and the staff and has since started the process of accreditation of the expired courses of the institution. He appealed to the state government for the release of money for the accreditation and reaccreditation of the affected courses.
Dr. Njoku itemized the challenges of the institution to include inadequate funding, lack of power supply, acute shortage of classrooms and offices, shortage of staff salaries and the three months arrears of salaries.
The highpoint of the visit was the special presentation of an “Award of Honour” as “an Icon of Hope for Education” in the State to the Commissioner by the President of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the Polytechnic.