Gbenga Sodeinde in Ado Ekiti
The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola, has again reaffirmed his consummate penchant for developing the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, which establishment he described as his personal project.
Babalola said this while receiving in his office the new polytechnic rector, Dr Temitope John Alake, alongside some of the management staff of the institution, on a courtesy visit heralding the beginning of familiarisation visits to some relevant stakeholders of the polytechnic.
Babalola, who was also the chairman of the Governing Council at the inception of the polytechnic, assured them of his support whenever the need arises to stabilise 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 also to rank high as one of the very best institutions in Nigeria.
Babalola recounted the trajectory of its establishment through his patronage from the federal government in 1982. He promised that he would work with the institution’s management to liaise with necessary authorities to ward off arbitrary encroachment on the polytechnic land.
He bemoaned the insensitivity of successive governments to the development of education, especially the polytechnic sector in Nigeria. He noted that he founded ABUAD a few years ago, and it is currently ranked the best university in Nigeria and 321 in the world, according to the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking 2022.
The ABUAD founder, who accused successive governments of paying 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 for JAMB to lower admission requirements into polytechnic below (160), i.e. 40 per cent of its score, while the average for universities stood at (180), i.e. 45 per cent for less rigorous courses.
The ABUAD Vice-Chancellor, Prof Smirinda Olarinde, commended the collaboration between the polytechnic and ABUAD.
Alake stated that the courtesy call became imperative considering the pioneering effort and impactful contributions of Aare Afe Babalola to the development of the polytechnic over the years.
He commended Babalola for his efforts to see the polytechnic become great over the years and appealed to him to continue to support the polytechnic.