As Federal Poly, Orogun Prepares for Academic Take-off…

Sylvester Idowu writes that the recently approved Federal Polytechnic, Orogun in Ughelli North Local Government area of Delta State, Initiated by the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate, senator Ovie Omo-Agege is springing up in record time.

when in 2017, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege representing Delta Central in the 8th Senate, moved a motion for the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, many thought it was one of those political moves to win the hearts of the people ahead of his future gubernatorial ambition in Delta State.

Undeterred by cacophony of mudslinging among his traducers, the  Senator again followed up his desire in the recently concluded 9th Senate which culminated in it’s passage and eventual assent by the immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari in February this year.

However, six months down the line, the Polytechnic is becoming a reality with infrastructural facilities springing up on a over 100-acres of land on its permanent site located in the hearts of Orogun in Ughelli North Local Government area of Delta State.

Unlike most proposed higher institutions taking off on temporary sites, mostly conversion of primary or secondary schools pending relocating to permanent sites which takes years to come into fruition, Federal Polytechnic Orogun, at the instance of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, is starting on a clean slate and at it’s permanent site in record time.

Five school buildings for its various Schools and lecture halls/theatres have been completed. Also completed is about four-kilometres tarred road with street lights and side walkways making the Institution ready for commencement of academic activities.

All thanks to Senator Omo-Agege who has always envisioned the possibility of public tertiary academic institutions with core ‘Silicon Valley’ character in Nigeria.

Institutions known mainly for world-class research capabilities and first-class achievements in the sciences, especially computer science – computer graphics, network design, computer-assisted education, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics, big data, cyber security, bioinformatics, among others.

This was the major motivation for his introduction of the Bill to establish the Federal Polytechnic Orogun in 2017 in the 8th Senate, but the political environment then did not allow the bill to progress.

He re-introduced the Bill, as then Deputy President of the Senate in 2019 in the 9th Senate, and it was passed by the National Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval

was conveyed to The Obarisi of Urhoboland in a letter dated February 23, 2021, referenced DHE/POLY/39/C.1/I/84 signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education,  Sonny S. T. Echono, on behalf of the Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu. The polytechnic will commence academic activities in October 2023.

With the presidential approval, Senator Omo-Agege moved for the disbursement of fund for the take off of the Federal Polytechnic, Orogun and today the people of Delta State are appreciating his gesture.

Pioneer Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Orogun, Dr. Duke Okoro told THISDAY during a visit to the site of the Institution said pioneering the school in not an enormous task as he had been involved pioneering many institutions in the past.

Speaking on pioneering the institution, he said “ people sees this as an enormous task but to me,  it is not really an enormous one. We have planned on how to achieve the goals of starting the first academic session this September. And right now, we are just following what we have planned, laid out plans. We hit the ground running so fast and believe that by September the students will start coming in.

On whether the Institution has the infrastructure for the immediate take off of the academic activities, Okoro boasted that by the time the students will start arriving many things would have been put in place but that at the moment, 90 percent of infrastructural facilities have either been completed or nearing completion.

“As you are entering the Institution, you must have seen a magnificent gate house followed by pave roads from the gate house to the Institution. You can see that the roads are of international standard. We have paved walkways for cycling and for pedestrians walk.

“Not only that, we have completed Muhammadu Buhari’s administrative building, the E. K.  Clark student’s union building, we have Bola Ahmed Tinubu Sports Complex which is under construction and five schools that have also been completed.

“We have a building of lecture halls, 12 lecture halls inside the building. We also have completed the Library building with lecture theatres. We have completed about 10 buildings meant for staff and five buildings for principal officers. We have a substation that will provide electricity to the school campus as well as seven generating plants installed. Water project and reticulation into the buildings will son start. We also have an hospital building completed. All these projects were attracted by Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege. We are great full to him.

“Obviously, we have to take advantage of all these facilities and infrastructures that are here to ensure that the students to be admitted will get the best of learning so that they can be fully certified and contribute to the workforce not just for Delta State but the nation at large”, Okoro explained.

The Rector disclosed that the Polytechnic will offer courses in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, and that it recently signed an MOU with Niger Delta River Basin Authority to cede the Songhai farm to enable it offer agricultural and bio environmental engineering.

Okoro was full of praise to the people of the host community for the cooperation and understanding in the execution of all these projects without any hostility that confronts such projects in most communities in the state.

“As we are here now, some of the community leaders are here with us and I can tell you authoritatively that since developments in this institution started, the cooperation and understanding of the host community has been very awesome. As a matter of fact, they have ensured that the contractors have a cordial relationship, not just to them but with people who come here to work. They have provided a peaceful atmosphere. That’s why under six to seven  months, we can have all these developments  here in the Institution. I give kudos to them”, he said.

The village head, Chief Benjamin U. F. Ojiri, the Omamede of Orogun kingdom and Okarorho of Orhomuru community showered  encomiums on the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate for attracting the Federal Polytechnic to Orogun saying it has brought their desired development to the area.

He said: “First, we are greatful to our son, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy President of the Senate, immediate past, because due to his ingenuity, he is able to lobby and get this Federal Polytechnic to our environment. The community as a whole and the Orogun kingdom are all very greatful to him because this school has brought development to our area.

“The presence of the institution is already having positive impact on our area. The community is already feeling the impact, even though it has not actually gain ground, the local people working there are already earning salary. We have a lot of visitors into the community that is making their businesses to thrive. With the school being here, soon we expect banks and other government institutions to establish their offices in the community”, an elated chief said.

No doubt, the people of Orogun will forever be greatful to the immediate past Deputy President of the Senate for turning an obscure village to mega city with the siting of the Federal Polytechnic to the community and the state.

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