History was last Thursday made as Federal Polytechnic Nekede formally acquired a new campus located in Abaezi Egbema. The new institution was built and commissioned as a skill acquisition centre by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs before its formal handover to the polytechnic.

In his speech at the well-attended occasion, the Governor of Imo State represented by his deputy, Prof Placid Njoku, described the Federal Polytechnic Nekede as an institution that has acquired the reputation of being “most proactive and innovative.”

He expressed optimism that the polytechnic would live up to expectations by teaching the technology that will ensure full exploitation of the many resources available in the area. The scholar turned politician thanked the people of Egbema for coming out en masse to witness the “epoch-making event.” Finally, he thanked the Niger Delta Ministry for seeing the need to involve an institution like the Federal Polytechnic to take over the facility.

Performing the handover, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs described the event as historic, as the project was conceptualized and built to improve the lives of the youths. He expressed confidence in the polytechnic, which he described as a centre of excellence in education, to manage the facility, adding that in years to come, the new campus would graduate students that would be very useful to the Nigerian project.

In an acceptance speech, the Minister of State (Education), Rt. Hon. Goodluck Nanan Opiah, expressed happiness at the commissioning and handover of the facility to Federal Polytechnic Nekede.

He described the event as an epoch-making one, adding that “education world over remains key to meaningful developments,” urging people of the area to take advantage of the new campus to acquire good education. Finally, he accepted the facility on behalf of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to “effectively serve as the second campus of the Federal Polytechnic Nekede.”

A traditional ruler who spoke in the event, Eze Barr. Goodhead Ariaga of Egbema ancient kingdom, described the handover ceremony as a dream come true. He also declared the support of the entire Egbema clan to the project. Furthermore, the eze expressed optimism that the new campus would be a solution to the existential challenge of flooding bedeviling the area.

In an address published in the brochure of the occasion, the Ag. Chairman of the Governing Council of Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Sqd. Ldr. Chima Idika Chima (Rtd) noted that the effort at founding of a second campus by the polytechnic “is a deliberate one done to expand the institution and broaden its spectrum of operations.”

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the facility, as well as the Ministers and officials of the Federal Ministries of Niger Delta Affairs and Education. He also expressed gratitude to the Gov. Hope Uzodinma “for the wonderful support he has given us as our landlord and host.” Finally, the council chair appreciated the Rector “for his leadership enterprise in conceptualizing the vision of the second campus.”

In a speech published in the brochure, the Rector of the institution, Engr. Dr. Michael Arimanwa, described the birthing of a new campus by the polytechnic as a landmark that has “generated immeasurable expectations and enthusiasm”.

While noting that his institution is known for excellence, the poly boss declared that the Federal Polytechnic has been on the vanguard of technological innovations through research development. He recalled the leading role the polytechnic has played in technological innovations and inventions, promising to replicate same in the new campus.

“May I declare that the new campus at Abaezi Egbema would be another ground for ambitious technological innovations. We are determined to raise another institution that would be a heritage not only to this community but the country at large.”

High points of the historic occasion were the handover of the documents of the new campus to the Minister of State for Education and the commissioning of the facility which was undertaken by the Deputy Governor.

The event was witnessed by a large turnout of people made up of the academia, traditional institution, politicians, women groups and youth.

There was palpable joy on the faces of the locals who graced the occasion.

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