AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY DR. SAMUEL B. KALAGBOR, RECTOR, PORT HARCOURT POLYTECHNIC, ON THE OCCASION OF THE MAIDEN STAKEHOLDERS MEETING WITH STAFF OF THE POLYTECHNIC ON THURSDAY, 4TH AUGUST, 2016, AT THE POLYTECHNIC CONFERENCE HALL, RUMUOLA, PORT HARCOURT.
It is with a deep sense of gratitude to God; exceeding joy in my heart; humility and responsibility that I stand before this assembly comprising principal officers, members of Management, Heads of Departments, unit heads and indeed, all staff of the Polytechnic to address you on the occasion of the maiden stakeholders meeting with staff of the Port Harcourt Polytechnic.
Today, being the 4th of August, 2016, is very significant in the life and development of our institution. First, it marks the One Year Anniversary of my assumption of office as Acting Provost of the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, now Port Harcourt Polytechnic. Second, exactly one month ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief (Barr) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, signed into Law, the Port Harcourt Polytechnic Law No. 4 of 2016, heralding the conversion of the Rivers State College of Arts and Science to the Port Harcourt Polytechnic, Rumuola, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Essentially, the Law transfers the staff and property of the Rivers State College of Arts and Science and other matters incidental thereto to the Port Harcourt Polytechnic.
Once more, may I on behalf of the Governing Council, Management, Academic Board, staff and students of the Port Harcourt Polytechnic specially thank His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief (Barr) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON for bringing to a successful end and joyous celebration over sixteen (16) years of consistent agitations and struggles for change of the name of the institution to reflect its polytechnic status. Similarly, our gratitude also goes to the Speaker and members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Honourable Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Chairman and members of the Governing Council of Port Harcourt Polytechnic, and other well meaning Nigerians and institutions who played positive roles and contributed to the change in nomenclature of our institution.
Third, today equally marks one month of re-designation of my status and approval of my appointment as the pioneer Rector of Port Harcourt Polytechnic by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, having earlier approved the confirmation of my appointment as substantive Provost of the former Rivers State College of Arts and Science. In this regard, may I once again on behalf of my wife and family, express my heartfelt gratitude to His Excellency for the confidence reposed in me to steer the ship of the Polytechnic in the capacity of pioneer Rector. By the grace of God and with the cooperation of staff and students, the Port Harcourt Polytechnic would continue to witness accelerated and unprecedented growth and development in all fronts during my tenure as Rector.
Shortly after assumption of office as Acting Provost in 2015, at a stakeholders meeting with staff, I articulated and presented a seven point agenda which would constitute the Policy thrust and direction of my administration. For the purpose of emphasis, the Seven (7) Point Agenda are reproduced as follows:
- Improvement of the academic status of the institution;
- Enhanced welfare of staff and students;
- Accreditation of more courses by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE);
- Human capacity development;
- Introduction of ICT in students registration, processing and release of exam results/internet facilities for effective and productive teaching, learning and research;
- Provision/furnishing of staff offices;
- Provision of conducive lecture halls, classrooms and hostel accommodation.
The seven point agenda will continue to constitute the cardinal roadmap of Management with periodic modifications and review where necessary. It is interesting and gratifying to note that the first and overriding item on the agenda is the change of the name of the institution. The realization or actualization of the other agenda items largely depends on the change of name of the institution.
We give God all the glory for with Him the change of name of the institution became possible exactly eleven (11) months after assumption of office as the Acting Provost of the institution.
On this note, may I congratulate and commend the resilience, tenacity of purpose and commitment of staff and students as well as the cooperative spirit and support accorded Management during the defining moments of the struggle.
The most challenging task before all of us now is how to effectively and efficiently manage, sustain and significantly improve on the full fledged Polytechnic status of the institution. This calls for positive attitudinal and behavioural changes in line with the objects, vision and mission of the Polytechnic; sacrifices/adjustments, integration, additional responsibilities, introduction of new and strict administrative and management strategies, practices, processes, rules, procedures and application of appropriate sanctions, where necessary. It also involves redirection of the use of resources, innovations, high academic and disciplinary standards, guiding coalition; achievable, deliverable and measurable results.
The Change Management Model consists of four (4) critical stages which all staff are called upon to focus on, namely:
- Determination of Need for Change;
- Prepare and Plan for Change;
- Implement the Change;
- Sustain the Change.
One of the fundamental opportunities which this platform provides is to present our “Report Card” to the staff of the institution because we believe that we are responsible and accountable to the people. This is a historical and radical departure from the practice by previous administrations in the institution. It strives to establish a roadmap and set a standard for the evaluation of the performances of subsequent administrations; if it is sustained as a rule of practice in the institution.
Within the limits of available meagre financial and other resources and in addition to change of name of the institution to Port Harcourt Polytechnic which we consider highly outstanding, we have within one year, recorded uncommon and milestone achievements. A summary of these achievements are contained in the Bulletin entitled “From RIVCAS to Port Harcourt Polytechnic: One year of Dr. Samuel B. Kalagbor’s Administration.”
No doubt, there are some critical areas of need and Polytechnic architecture that require serious attention, especially with respect to provision of infrastructure, accreditation of more technology-based programmes, human capacity development, enhanced staff and students welfare, strengthening and ensuring improved security of life and property on campus, etc. We pledge management’s commitment to continuously work with the Governing Council and the Government of Rivers State to ensure the provision of these facilities and services for the benefit of staff, students and the entire Polytechnic Community.
In conclusion, may I on behalf of Management thank all staff, Unions, students and the
entire Polytechnic Community for your support, commitment and cooperation without which we could not have attained these achievements. The tasks and challenges before us in the present educational and institutional order are enormous and demanding. We are confident that God being on our side and with your renewed efforts, prayers, support and collaboration, we shall collectively take the Port Harcourt Polytechnic to a greater height as one of the fastest growing and leading urban polytechnics in Nigeria. The only limit to our realization of tomorrow are our doubts and lack of vision. In one accord and with strong and active faith, we can move Port Harcourt Polytechnic forward.
Dr. Samuel B. Kalagbor