Unveiling The Unspoken Achievements Of Eno Ibanga In AKSU
By Franklyn ISONG
During the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governorship campaign rally at Mkpat Enin, on February 17, 2015, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the candidate of the PDP, as he then was, disclosed that, in response to the yearning of Mkpat Enin people as the host community of the Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU), Governor Godswill Akpabio as he then was, had approved the appointment of Professor Eno Ibanga as the new vice chancellor of the State University, to take over from Professor Sunday Peters. And in line with the university laws, the governing council of the institution in April 23, 2015 confirmed the appointment of Eno Ibanga.
Four years down the line, it is necessary to start a conversation on the achievements of the Eno Ibanga-led administration in the Akwa Ibom State University, in order to bring to the front burner, the unspoken but salient successes recorded in the state-owned institution so far.
Since the beginning of this year, I have devoted much of my time to following the activities on both campuses of Ikot Akpaden and Obio Akpa of the AKSU, first; as a major stakeholder from Ekim town, one of the host communities of the main campus at Ikot Akpaden, and two; as a journalist and conscience of the society, whose duty it is to hold public officials accountable to the people.
Much might not have been heard in positive about the institution, not because, much in terms of development have not taken place in both campuses but, perhaps, the vice chancellor, though not press shy but, not given to publicity. He believes in doing the talking.
But, albeit, after keeping close tabs on the campuses, it behooves on me to tell the society my findings, thus this piece.
4 years of Eno Ibanga’s VCship he has achieved: the full accreditation of all AKSU’s 38 academic programmes by National Universities Commission (NUC); construction of a 3-storey administration block that houses the Senate Chamber and Offices of some Principal Officers of the AKSU; establishment of a functional commercial farm venture with various farming activities which in no time will result in large scale production and in turn attract domestic and foreign investors; collaboration with Texas A & M College in the United States for its Marine Engineering programme; equipping of the Pinnacle Theatre, equipping of Mass Communication Complex which houses Radio, TV Studio and Print Studio; equipping of English Language Laboratory in order to assist the students to gather adequate knowledge in stage performances; NUC’s approval for 63 programmes take-off by the School of Postgraduate Studies; donation of a 90-bed Postgraduate students Hotel by an indigenous company, Desicon Engineering Limited; construction of internal roads in Obio Akpa Campus and opening up the permanent site in Ikot Akpaden for development; Banking negotiations and installation of ATM – for the benefit of the Institution and host communities; construction of Faculty of Management Science which houses Marketing, Accounting, Economic Laboratories, staff offices and board room; upgrading of Marine Engineering and Soil Science Laboratories as well as the Health Centre in Ikot Akpaden.
Under Eno Ibanga’s administration, AKSU’s staff are being sent on regular conferences and training/workshops in order to develop workforce capacity, enhance optimum job performance and productivity and improve their skills for job proficiency, build the university culture and entrench the norms and tradition inherent in the institution.
Community Development Partnership:
Negotiations are in top gear by Communities Development Partners to engage the services of the students’ teachers of Akwa Ibom State University as volunteer teachers in understaffed public primary and secondary schools in Mkpat Enin and Oruk Anam local government areas. This is to bridge the gap caused by death of teachers, transfers, resignation or retirement in public schools, so as to help impacting quality and temporary knowledge to students and guide them in their choice of career path and subject combinations in external examinations.
Inventing of Melon Dehusking Machine:
This machine has assisted the host communities in terms of dehusking large volume of melon for commercial purposes.
Security in Akwa Ibom:
AKSU under Eno Ibanga has contributed to the effective security of Akwa Ibom State by the Nigeria Police Force by donating 2 surveillance patrol vehicles to the force to aid their patrol in Mkpat Enin and Oruk Anam LGAs.
AKSU has commenced admission into Programmes of the Postgraduate Studies for 2019/2020 Academic Session, a feat made possible by the Eno Ibanga’s administration.
Ibanga’s leadership in AKSU has introduced e-voting for students’ union elections in order to check electoral malpractices during the students union elections.
Ibanga, a professor of Solid State Physics/Materials Science, had said that his mission in AKSU is to work towards upgrading facilities in both campuses of AKSU. He made this assertion while speaking to Radar Newspaper in May 2, 2015, shortly after the institution’s maiden convocation ceremony, held on Saturday, May 2, 2015, which graduated 40 students, four of whom had finished in the First Class Division.
“We are a growing school, which was left with about 3, 303 students after the first set of students numbering 40 were graduated. But now, the population has moved from that to over 5, 000 after we admitted a total of 1, 717 freshmen, who have just concluded their orientation programme,” Ibanga had said in May 2, 2015.
Established in 2010, full academic activities began at AKSU in November same year with the admission of the first batch of 300 students for the 2010/2011 academic session.
– Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society.