|Thursday, June 13, 2019|
round peg in a round" is increasingly no longer a strange concept in Nigeria -- where persons who are not qualified for positions are appointed. This was defeated recently in Abia State as Prof. Ezionye Eboh was appointed the substantive rector of the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba.
Prof Eboh, since he assumed the acting rectorship of the institution in early 2017 has provided a lifeline for the once ailing institution. The major challenge he met was the dwindling revenues of the institution due to sharp drop in the students enrollment which was almost the mainstay of the institution's revenue.
To address this, Prof Eboh has introduced some measures. Recently, the long-awaited mass communication department of the institution took-off. The course, it will be recalled, was delisted for nearly two decades .The rector believes that the reintroduction of the course and upgrading it to a diploma awarding course is apt considering the proliferation of private radio and television stations in Aba, a city which has assumed the commercial hub of not only Abia but the entire nation.
The course will provide training for students in journalism, public relations and advertising. Another huge advantage is that the commercial nature of Aba would supply students in abundance to the department. Already, over 30 students have enrolled for the programme.
Before now, the institution has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two organizations: the Association of Tailors and Fashion Designers (ATFAD) and Leather Products Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. The MoU is part of the institution’s numerous efforts to boost the business activities of Aba metropolis. According to Eboh, “It is our way of giving back to the city of Aba, as an institution that is socially responsible.”
The three-month programme targets small and medium manufacturers in the city and would ensure that every member of the associations in the city is acquainted with the basic skills of doing business. Also, the courses outlined in the MoU are Basic Mathematics, Basic Management Principles, Basic English and Basic Book Keeping.
Worthy to note is that the MoU coincides with a similar one the institution signed with Green Field, to provide Social Health Insurance Programme for students of the polytechnic at no extra cost, after enrollment. From all ramifications the MoU is apt at this period Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, is on a steady march to fulfill the appellation “Japan of Africa”. By the Professor’s projection, God willing and other things being equal, the programme will train about 10,000 artisans in the years ahead. “If our plan works out, in the next two years, we would have trained about 10,000 artisans”.
It is indisputable that Abia Polytechnic has great contribution in the current stride of Aba to sustain its status as the SME-hub of the country. The institution is the biggest public institution in the city and has the mandate of providing manpower for the state’s drive towards technology.
The three months certificate programme is a transformation process for the artisans, upgrading them from local artisans to world-class entrepreneurs, who are empowered with certificates. To buttress this, Eboh noted: “We’ll also train them on how to separate self from business, especially in terms of their finances.
“Of course, we will teach them the basics in cleanliness, rudimentary English, and self-confidence. We hope that this effort is in synergy with a whole lot of other activities being undertaken by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration, and we have no doubt this will positively alter the business of Aba within the next couple of years.”
To block leakages in the revenue of the institution, every financial transaction in the institution is now made through the bank to avoid misappropriation, while admission and checking of results and other processes are now done online. This is to discourage time wastage. Also, efforts are now on top gear to rejig the internally-generated revenue process of the institution for improvement and to reduce the dependency of the institution on the state government.
Arguably, no better alternative could have fitted into this cap other than Prof. Eboh because of his rich background. An alumnus of prestigious institutions such as Anambra State University of Science Technology; Enugu State University of Science and Technology; University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus; Abia State University Uturu. He holds a PhD in management with specialisation in Management of Public Sector and Economics of Business.
His strong advocacy of integrity in public sector management has earned him recognition to serve in not less than 50 university committees.
Prof Eboh's membership of professional bodies cuts across Nigerian Institute of Management; Nigerian Institute of Public Relations; The Academy of Management, Nigeria, The British Academy of Management and Society for the Study of Emerging Markets; Research Fellow, African Institute for Advanced Economics.
He is currently embarking on studies in Economic Policies and Managerial behaviour of emerging economies, small and medium enterprises finances and sustainability, and the impact of slip- shod infrastructure on economic development.
Indeed, the cap fits Prof.Ezionye Eboh, let him wear it.