Officials in Plateau State say they are expecting to start campus manufacturing to solve financial needs causing workers’ strikes in local tertiary institutions.
A new set of administrators appointed to head two leading institutions – the Plateau State Polytechnic Barkin Ladi and the College of Agriculture Garkawa are expected to upgrade local infrastructure and attract grants to start businesses and earn revenue for the schools.
On Wednesday, the State Commissioner of Higher Education, Prof. Matur Bernard Malau announced the renewal of the tenure of Mr. Builder John Dawam as the Rector of the Plateau State Polytechnic.
Dawam’s reapportionment, Malau said followed his prudent management of finances and an unexpected upgrade of the Polytechnic infrastructure during his current tenure which elapses this December.
“One of the leadership qualities of the current management of the Plateau State Polytechnic is the attraction of grants from donors and the Alma Mata of that institution,” said Prof. Malau during a news briefing at his office in Jos.
“Two of these grants which I must mention – one is from an alumnus – the Governor of Nasarawa State who visited the institution and was happy with the level of development and made a huge donation for the rehabilitation of the mechatronics unit of the Polytechnic. He also pledged the sum of N10 million for the expansion of that unit,” said Malau.
“Another donation came from a friend of the Polytechnic who was attracted by the administration. This friend of the Polytechnic has built the automobile unit and workshop of the Polytechnic,” he added.
Dawam’s renewed tenure is for four years according to Malau, and takes effect from 1st January 2023, he said.
The Commissioner also announced the appointment of a new Registrar at the College of Agriculture Garkawa. Mr. Richard Irmiya Dingsan was given as the new Registrar but no details were given.
The State is expecting infrastructural and academic improvement in the two colleges following the appointments, Malau said.
In the near future, the schools should be able to manufacture and earn revenue to solve their internal needs, he said.
“The reason we have incessant strikes in our tertiary institutions is lack of funds,” Malau said.
“And institutions like a Polytechnic is supposed to be generating revenue to solve its internal needs. A Polytechnic like ours by now is supposed to be producing automobile spare parts and even whole automobiles. But we have sophisticated machines that are in that institution without the manpower to operate them.
“Also at the Polytechnic we have a department of mining and engineering. A lot of illegal mining activities are going on within and around the campuses and the Polytechnic is not getting anything from it. I believe if we are able to improve the machines used in this mineral extraction and get enough manpower to run them, the Polytechnic will generate sufficient revenue and solve this issue of strikes,” he concluded.