Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Auchi Polytechnic Alumni Association has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign into law the bill seeking to convert the polytechnic to the City University of Technology.
The bill which was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly is now awaiting the president’s assent, according to the president-general of the association, Victor Okhaimo, who made the appeal in Asaba, Delta State in a chat with newsmen ahead of the association’s National Executive Committee meeting
Flanked by members of executives and members of the association’s board of trustees, Okhaimo commended the National Assembly for passing the bill, which he said was sponsored by Senator Francis Alimekhena, representing Edo North, and Johnson Oghuma who represents Etsako federal constituency at the House of Representatives.
He said when the bill is signed into law by the president, it would automatically convert one of Nigeria’s premier polytechnics, Auchi Polytechnic in Edo State to a university with all its features both in academic and infrastructure.
Okhaimo stated that the association played a pivotal role in lobbying the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the bill, including an overwhelming presence during the public hearing.
He said the benefits of the conversion are enormous, adding that the full features of a university will be accorded the institution.
According to him, there would be a new dimension of academic arrangement that would impact positively on the students and natives of the host community.
He said the association had been contributing to the growth of the Polytechnic, including the donation of a 200-capacity drawing room for the Department of Engineering.
Okhaimo seized the opportunity to call on those who graduated from the institution to join hands with the association in uplifting the fortunes of the Polytechnic, particularly in the area of infrastructure, recalling that the institution now has three campuses.
According to him, the institution has witnessed a lot of manpower upgrade to doctorate level by staff, stressing that a school with a university status would need a vice chancellor who would be able to access and broaden opportunities in the institution.
He said his administration has also been able to collaborate with the Forum of Nigeria Polytechnic Alumni Association (FONPA), noting that through FONPA “we are playing a lot of roles to see that the HND/B.Sc dichotomy is wiped out.”