John ODHE, Yenagoa
The Rector of Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas, Ekowe, Bayelsa state, Dr. Seiyaboh Idah has revealed that the issue of staff salary shortfall which was responsible for incessant strike actions at the institution has been permanently resolved.
The Rector gave the revelation on Saturday during an interactive session with journalists at the school’s liaison office in Yenagoa.
Speaking through his Executive Assistant, Mr. Alagha Bibi-Welson, the Rector recounted that it took the intervention of the president Muhammadu Buhari led federal government to rectify the situation which was the bane of recurring staff-management squabbles for many years.
Stating that the institution now enjoys stable working relationship amongst management, staff and students, the Rector disclosed that the Polytechnic now has about 4,000 students as against a total of just 40 students she had in 2017 when he came on board.
Noting that workers’ morale has been boosted through promotions and award of excellence to deserving staff, the Rector revealed that management had also introduced extra faculties to the existing ones under him supervision.
Idah, however, hinted that despite the appreciable achievements recorded under him, the citadel of learning is not without some challenges including abandonment of projects, shortage of staff and accommodation, insecurity, coastal erosion, lack of access raod and electricity.
On the abandonment of projects, the Rector revealed that the ugly situation forced the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to black list the institution sometime ago, pointing out that one of the major projects that remained abandoned at the Polytechnic is the PTDF shore protection project.
“There are two major projects abandoned at the institution which made TETFUND to black list us but we have got over one because this management came in and reprioritized that project and TETFUND came, inspected it and cleared us and the blacklisting was lifted and we are now enjoying every benefit from TETFUND.
“So, as we speak, we have academic scholars from here who are in different institutions in the UK who are doing PhD and Masters degree programmes.
“As a matter of fact, we just received a correspondence from TETFUND a few weeks ago to send in our nominations for Doctoral and post-Doctoral programme in America.
“The other project is the PTDF shore protection job which was abandoned. That is the major project which till today, remains abandoned,” he said.
The Rector thanked the federal government and TETFUND for their interventions which had brought stability and unprecedented increase in the number of students being admitted into the institution, adding that but for the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas, Ekowe would have recorded about 5,000 students.