Abia State Polytechnic Poised to Lead in Intellectual Research

Abia State Polytechnic Poise to Lead in Intellectual Research

Abia State Polytechnic, Aba has always prided itself as one of the ‘fastest-growing polytechnics in Nigeria,’ and has always had good reasons to stick to this quite ambitious claim.

However, at no previous time has that lofty projection about its high ranking in the national comity of institutional providers of technological education taken the form of a delightful developmental reality than in the past six months.

To put it in proper perspective, AbiaPoly has not just consolidated on earlier strengths and accomplishments, it has also, within this timeframe, consistently conjured, constructed and attained spectacular new ones. For instance, the polytechnic has strategically upgraded its town-growing relationship with the city of Aba, productively exploiting for mutual benefit, the robust artisanal, entrepreneurial, vocational and pseudo-industrial propensities of a truly gifted community.

However, unarguably the most important element in the eye-catching AbiaPoly Renaissance of the present time is the assumption of office of a new, highly capable and committed Visitor of messianic sensibilities to the institution, His Excellency, Dr Alex Chioma Otti, a man of wide-ranging technocratic intelligence and a deep understanding of the place of knowledge in the modern narrative of human and social transformation. Simply put, from his disposition in the last six months, Dr Otti has been squarely demonstrative of his awareness of the role an institution of AbiaPoly’s character and mandate can play in driving the much-anticipated science and technology revolution for both state and country, and has expressed his intention in every possible way to reposition it for greater operational effectiveness and service delivery.

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This commendable temperament is additionally illustrated by His Excellency’s appointment of the cerebral, administratively astute and God-fearing Engr Chidinma Martha Ndukwe as Ag. Rector of the polytechnic in early June.

It is thus, most fitting that a Proprietor/Visitor of the most profound development propensities would be on hand to commission a colloquium on national revival.

The change of guard, and of influence, at state and institutional levels, has definitely yielded dividends, in both concrete and symbolic terms, for AbiaPoly. Perhaps, and starting from the most fundamentally, there has been a drastic lift in staff morale, and a total restoration of a sense of occupational belonging, with the regularity in the payment of salaries, in a manner not experienced in many years, and the attendant assurance of job security. Again, for the first time in the history of the polytechnic, graduates of the School of Engineering have now begun to be mobilized for the National Youth Service Corps. The other tangible indices of the burgeoning reputation that AbiaPoly enjoys in the new dispensation includes gallant displays by our students in intellectual contexts of different categories.

It is however roundly significant that the most eloquent testimonial to a resurgent Abia State Polytechnic, especially in living up to its billing as one of the fastest-growing centers of excellence in technological education yet, happened between Wednesday, the 29th of November and Friday, the 1st of December. It is the First National Research Conference of the institution organized under the aegis of its Directorate of Research and Development, with the theme ‘Emerging Concepts in Security & Sustainable National Development.’

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The inspiration for the conception and execution of this grand, multidisciplinary academic festival revolved around the mobilization, recommendation, propagation and application of avant garde, cutting-edge, 21st century models for the sustainable national development project.

As Dr Ezechi Onyerionwu, Director of Research and Development, put it, this conference represented the bold and brave initiative by the Abia State Polytechnic, under the leadership of its first female, first Engineer head, and with the outstanding, indispensable support of its highly visionary Visitor, to lead this epochal attempt to distill high level scholarship and knowledge with the capacity to set the tone for the academy’s involvement in national retrieval and reformation, especially at the dawn of a new political era.

There may not have been a better, more auspicious platform on which to inaugurate the new phase of the AbiaPoly developmental story than the convergence of a formidable cast of researchers and intellectuals from across the country and beyond to kick-start a new round of discourse on behalf of national advancement.

This meeting hosted about 250 paper presentations by about 320 scholars and researchers in around 70 intensely deliberative sessions divided into Ordinary and Special Purpose panels across three says.

And as Engr Mrs Ndukwe, Rector of the institution, and Chief Host of the event, projects, the massive response to this conference is a solid pointer to the role Abia State Polytechnic, and by extension, Abia State, is set to play as a hub for the generation of development-oriented knowledge under our dear Governor, Dr Otti.

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And it is doubly heartwarming that this grand academic orchestra that took place at the polytechnic’s new Auditorium Complex was conducted by some of the finest and most distinguished Nigerian researchers and intellectuals, led by Professor Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, who delivered the Keynote Address.

It was a fitting tribute to the entire essence and purpose of the conference that Professor Iwe’s highly engaging opening lecture very competently re-intellectualized the notion of national development, unpacking it for practical application in contexts of sustainable advancement.

Following the successful convening of this colossal carnival of ideas, Abia State Polytechnic, Aba is now poised to lead the explosive conversation on national recovery and transformation from the research and intellectual standpoint.

It was indeed a fruitful and rewarding gathering of scholars, political leaders, entrepreneurs, development enthusiasts and ordinary citizens.