Akwa Ibom State University ...now a Destination for all (+VIDEO) - aksu360

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Akwa Ibom State University ...now a Destination for all (+VIDEO)

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The Vice Chancellor of Akwa Ibom State University, Professor Eno Ibanga was a guest on Inspiration 105.9FM Uyo on Saturday, the 8th of September 2018 x-raying the impact of Governor Udom Emmanuel's administration on the institution. The Host, Comr. Ini Ememobong interviewed the Vice Chancellor on a wide range of issues.

aksu360 here presents a transcript of the interview for your reading pleasure. The video LIVE-stream of the media-chat can also be found at the end of this post..

UMBRELLA RADIO : Prof. Eno Ibanga is the Vice-Chancellor of Akwa Ibom State University, former Dean of Students Affairs (University of Uyo). He is a Professor of Solid State Physics…. Prof, the way you relate with us, we think that you are more of a Professor of Humanities ….Prof, you are welcome.
PROF. ENO IBANGA : Thank you very much Ini.

UMBRELLA RADIO : When you sit like that and listen to someone who is not your student, who has nothing to do with your school, who just went there and speaks so well about you, your administration and by extension the Governor and how he is impacting on the system, how does that make you feel?
PROF. ENO IBANGA : you can only say “only God”, because there is nothing else we can say about the pace of development in Akwa Ibom State University. I must say that God places people at positions to help humanity and one of the people is the Governor of the state and through him, I was appointed to head the state University and if you are following a leader, you must follow his vision and that’s what we are doing. The conclusion is “only God”.

UMBRELLA RADIO : Let me ask….let me not start from the infrastructural because those are things that every blind person who is driven into your campus would feel that the roads are done, but the school is not for roads. A school in Ibibio is called “ufok nwed”. Uwed ifang ke mbufo enanam ke ufok nwed? Emese enam… emenie ofund mkpadiak, anamma yak mme owo enie sename ke ema eka ufok nwed emi emah?
PROF. ENO IBANGA : Well Ini, what I want to read now just came in August 14, 2018 ….result of the May/June 2018 accreditation of Academic programs in Nigerian Universities. This letter is addressed to His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State. The result of the exercise are as follows (forget the preambles). First faculty is Administration: Accounting (Full accreditation), Marketing (Full accreditation), Public Administration (Full accreditation).
Engineering faculty: Agricultural Engineering (Full accreditation), Mechanical Engineering (Full accreditation).
Social Sciences: Economics (Full accreditation), Political Science (Full accreditation). That is what we call 7/7

UMBRELLA RADIO : (cuts in)…. Celebrate 7/7 (applause) …indeed he deserves some A.C.C.O.L.A.D.E.S
PROF. ENO IBANGA : The school is all about programs accredited. Getting students to learn and getting structures and courses on ground. I can say that Akwa Ibom State University is different because the entrepreneurial aspect has been amplified… our students when they leave…. One of the programs we are brandishing is Agriculture and Engineering.

When a student leaves the Faulty of Agriculture programs, they will become employers of labour. That is what we are thinking…. Be it in honey production, snail, chicken feed, cattle plus everything we can feed the nation with…, minus… the Government has given us improved cassava which we have already ploughed … and just this year, we have put in a new 90HP tractor by this Government to move Agriculture forward and that is carrying about 4 ploughs. What we can say? In Agriculture, we are on ground.

We produce for people to buy (AKSU feeds). Obioakpa campus was the food hub of Akwa Ibom State albinitio … when we came in, I wrote to His Excellency and told him “sir let us revive this. You are into industrialisation. How do you industrialise without feeding the people?” and he said “my Vice Chancellor, go ahead. Whatever support you need, I am with you”. Behold now, I am a very proud Akwa Ibomite, minus the fact that I am the Vice Chancellor, because it is by the special grace of God and through the benevolence of this Governor that I am here and if I don’t key into his vision, there is nothing I can do.

We had Engineering week some 2 weeks ago, where Etido Inyang and the rest came and some external people. They came to see how students and Engineering programs were  doing in Akwa Ibom State University. By the time he finished… as we speak, the only Universal Testing machine that can test materials for productions, roads and everything, is in Akwa Ibom State University.. the first in South-South Nigeria. It is this Governor that approved, we bought it and it was brought in by Cussons (England) …we imported it

UMBRELLA RADIO : (cuts in)… Accolades …. Bell rings….. laughter
PROF. ENO IBANGA : We are going for accreditation in Marine Engineering. We just built the Marine Lab, Simulation Lab and we have what we call Diesel Test Bayer, which you can use to test what will happen in the sea. There is a simulator that we have built … I think when we have you next visit to Akwa Ibom State University, we will move you into some ‘clouds’ in the University and you will know what is happening.

You know my students went for intern ship in NNPC refinery Port Harcourt. This is the first time any University in Nigeria was given 15 regular positions for IT  and this because of the performance of the students of Akwa Ibom State University  and in recent competitions…. Akwa Ibom State University  came first in Mathematical and Statistical competition Nationwide…. The person that came first in the competition that was hosted at the National Mathematical Centre was an Akwa Ibom State University   student (read it here). The result is there, but when they took the average, we came 5th overall, but the 1st state University (overall)

UMBRELLA RADIO : ….(cuts in) bell rings…
PROF. ENO IBANGA : …(cuts in) when we are talking about a University…. When I came, we were looking for students. Our cut-off marks now in this admission…. Can you imagine that in English, our cut-off is 200 and people that scored 200 and above in this JAMB exams and applied to Akwa Ibom State University   are over 300, for a space of 90 students and other programs like that?

So now…. Akwa Ibom State University  is a destination, because the University has been placed First among other state Universities. When you have a Governor that is not too political, a technocrat, the product of his investment is different from a core politician…. I am proud to be a Vice Chancellor under this Governor. Some state Universities can’t even pay salaries, can’t do research, cannot carry out the normal activities of a University, but we begging our staff to come and take research grant, go and do research in Akwa Ibom State University. On daily, daily basis, we are adding value to the programs in Akwa Ibom State University, so Ini this Government has done more than we can say.

You talked about infrastructural renaissance, if you go to the Accounting lab – this project has not been commissioned yet by His Excellency. These were the projects that were done for the last accreditation, whose result we have seen. The Accounting lab, Econometrics Lab and the Marketing lab are world class in this country and these are projects that happened within this year 2018

UMBRELLA RADIO : (cuts in) Prof let me come in….. because if I allow you, we will just say Amen and we go……
Exchange in vernacular/phone-in interactions/banter…….
UMBRELLA RADIO :  Prof, how are you staff faring?
PROF. ENO IBANGA : let’s talk about welfare. Akwa Ibom State University  charges N53,000 per session, one of the cheapest in the country, because of the free education policy of the State Government. If a university student pays N53,000 for a session, it translates to half-term fees of a primary or secondary school student.
Number 2. What is welfare? You are employed. You are given annual increment. You are given promotion. You salary comes as and at when due. That’s welfare! And as we speak, this September, we are going into the appraisals for 2017/2018 promotion exercise and by October 2018, people promoted will receive their letters and those who are promoted will be paid their promotion benefits. People that want to go on workshops, seminars and conferences as staff of Akwa Ibom State University…. as we speak, about 90 approvals just left to TETFUND and other locations in Nigeria, that is Welfare!
The only people we can say that their entitlements are pending are those that were employed without approval and we are still appealing to the Government, they are Akwa Ibomites, anywhere we can have money, we can pay them, but they can’t blackmail us and I have told them times without number, we don’t succumb to blackmail on these matters, it’s appeal.

Please before we go, because very soon, you will tell me that my time is up. When I came in, only 1 faculty had accreditation and that was Faculty of Natural and Applied Science (out of 7 Faculties). As we speak, all programs in Akwa Ibom State University   are accredited. It is only 3 programs that we are presenting this October/November that have Interim accreditation. History and International Relations, Mass Communication, whose problem was because we didn’t have an Operational license (which we are still working with NBC to obtain) and the last is Marine Engineering, which I mentioned earlier that we have now bought the Diesel Engine Test Bay and we have the Simulator. These were part of the requirements for these programs to be accredited.

Before then, they had interim accreditation… so the accreditations we have received have all happened under His Excellency, Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.

UMBRELLA RADIO : (cuts in)… as we prepare to round up….. Finally prof, where do you and Governor Udom Emmanuel intend to lead Akwa Ibom State University  to? At what point…
PROF. ENO IBANGA : (cuts in)… the last project that we are working on is the Smart classroom

UMBRELLA RADIO : (cuts in)… is it the last or current?
PROF. ENO IBANGA : Current project. What we have done is to bring Akwa Ibom State University   to International level. For that Smart classroom, we have signed an MOU with Temple University in Philadelphia (read it here), we have signed an MOU with Texas A&M University on Marine Program. We are working on an MOU with the University of Pennsylvania By the time, we have all these MOUs, you will be taught from any part of the world in Akwa Ibom State University   real-time in a classroom …what we call Smart classroom.

If you go to the ranking of Nigerian universities on Facebook and Twitter, Akwa Ibom State University  is no 5 in terms of Visibility (online presence and weight). On Twitter, Akwa Ibom State University   is ranked 7th among all the Universities in Nigeria. Where we are going? We are going to the top. Akwa Ibom State University   has become a destination for all, not only in Nigeria but outside Nigeria.
UMBRELLA RADIO : Prof as you go, we will ask you to remain a father that you are. A father to the students. Remain a father to the lecturers, remain a father to the non-teaching staff of Akwa Ibom State University. Prof, in 30 seconds, who is Udom Emmanuel? What is his leadership like?
PROF. ENO IBANGA : Udom Emmanuel is the best in everything… I don’t think I have seen anyone like that in my working career…

UMBRELLA RADIO : ….(cuts in) well I haven’t seen so either, so let us all leave (the studio), so we can go and continue seeing someone like Udom Emmanuel…. (laughter). It is on that note that I bring this program to an end…. (fades)

To read the previous interview that was granted by the Vice Chancellor in April 2018, click here

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