Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti Is My Baby- Aare Afe Babalola

By Gbenga Sodeinde

The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola has again reaffirmed his consummate penchant for the development of The Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, which birth, he described as his personal project.

Aare Afe Babalola made this affirmation, while receiving in his office, the new Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr. Temitope John Alake together with some of the Management Staff of the Institution, on a courtesy visit heralding the beginning of familiarization visits to some  relevant stakeholders of the Polytechnic.

Aare Afe Babalola, who was also the Chairman of the Governing Council at the inception of the Polytechnic, at Ado-Ekiti assured of his ever-ready support whenever the need arises to stabilize the Institution, which he described as a senior brother to ABUAD.

The foremost educationist and visionary philanthropist further noted that it has always been his dream not only to see the Polytechnic develop but to also rank high, as one of the very best Institutions in Nigeria.

While he went down memory lane on how the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti came about, Aare Afe Babalola recounted the trajectory of its establishment,  through his patronage from the then Federal Government in 1982, and how it has grown to become what it is today.

He promised that he would work with the Management of the Institution to liaise with necessary authorities  in order to ward off arbitrary encroachment on the Polytechnic land.

Aare Babalola however, bemoaned the insensitivity of successive government to the development of education most especially the Polytechnic sector in Nigeria.

He noted that he founded ABUAD a few years ago, and it has, as at today, ranked the number one best University in Nigeria and 321 in the world, according to the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking 2022.

The ABUAD founder, who lampooned successive governments of paying mere lip-service to the development of technological education through several policies summersault and poor funding of the Polytechnic Sector, said for instance, it was wrong of JAMB to lower admission requirement into Polytechnic below (160) i.e. 40% of its score, while the average for Universities stood at (180) i.e. 45% for less rigorous courses.

“Does that mean that JAMB was reserving only mediocre candidates for the Polytechnics”, he queried, adding that if government was really serious about technological education, only the brighter and the best should be admitted to study in the Polytechnics, most of which he advocated, should be speedily converted to Universities of Technology.

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Speaking further, Aare Babalola reiterated his undying call on the Federal government to upgrade the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti as one of its Universities of Technology, while he also called for improved funding of the Polytechnic Sector by the Federal government in order to be able to realize its entrepreneurial vision and skills creative goal.

In her comment, while thanking the Rector and its Management team to Aare Afe Babalola, ABUAD Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Smirinda Olarinde noted that it has been proven worthwhile that the Federal Polytechnic, Ado—Ekiti and ABUAD being siblings of the same father should practically collaborate in partnership to take educational development in Ekiti State and Nigeria to greater heights of development.

Earlier, the Rector, Dr. Temitope Alake stated that the courtesy call became imperative considering the pioneering effort and impactful contributions of Aare Afe Babalola to the development of the Federal Polytechnic over the years.

Dr. Temitope Alake commended and appreciated Aare Babalola for his yeoman’s efforts over the years to see the Polytechnic become great, as he described himself as a child of history, who witnessed what Aare Afe Babalola did to stabilise the foundation of the Institution, being one of those students who migrated with the Polytechnic’s relocation from Akure to Ado-Ekiti.

The Rector further hailed Aare Afe Babalola as a foundation and pillar of the Polytechnic, whose developmental contributions will remain memorable and unforgettable in the annals of the Institution’s history.

He further appealed to Aare Afe Babalola to continue to be unrelenting in his fatherly role to the Polytechnic as he hoped to see better synergy between the two academic Institutions especially in the area of promoting entrepreneurship and creativity/fabrication and assured that by God’s grace, we will reach the Hallmark.

The Rector also stated that this dispensation would be available for Baba’s supportive moves, adding that there will be synergized collaboration between the Polytechnic on the one hand and ABUAD with it’s Industrial Park on another hand.

He however appealed to Aare Afe Babalola for forgiveness over seeming intransigence in anyway the Polytechnic might have offended his personal interest in the recent past, assuring that such issues would be critically looked into by the Governing Council and Management of the Polytechnic for necessary amelioration, without injury to the age long harmonious father-to-son relationship.

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