I am honored to address this 4th Combined Convocation of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja. This marks my inaugural attendance as the Visitor to the Institution since assuming office in 2016. I have, of course, visited the Campus on several occasions to inspect ongoing and completed projects which we undertook to improve the quality of your curricular and extracurricular activities. It is therefore a source of personal joy to experience firsthand the radical transformation which your school has undergone under our Administration over the last 8 years.
I wish to commend the grand visions of the current management of the school led by your very indefatigable Rector, Dr. Salisu Ogbo Usman in the years that they have been in Office for overcoming some decades-long challenges which confronted the school in the past – for instance, ensuring that today’s celebration becomes a regular academic tradition. Our commendations also go to the Governing Council, Academic Board, Polytechnic Assembly, staff, and students without whose willing efforts and strong support Dr. Ogbo and his team could not have achieved any of the milestones that has turned a once backward and chaotic institution into the citadel of academic excellence and discipline that we are here to celebrate today.
Congratulations to the graduates, you are the pride of this institution and the stars of today’s events. The fact that you are part of this Convocation is proof that you have been adjudged worthy in character and learning to be certified as products of our great Kogi State Polytechnic. This achievement proves that you possess the ability to start the pursuit of something significant and commit to it until completed – a trait which is empirically recognized as a primary contributor to success in life. I must appreciate parents, guardians, and the institution for their joint and respective roles in your success.
This Convocation is another legacy milestone in our commitment to the growth and development of education Kogi State. We were been able to unveil our New Direction Blueprint in Kogi State Polytechnic, and just like we did in all our tertiary institutions, we were steadfast in the pursuit of educational and infrastructural transformation of this School. Today, as all stakeholders can testify, we have enforced stability and progress for this school – allowing both staff and students to proceed with their respective career and learning objectives here unhindered. The case is the same in all our higher institutions across Kogi State.
Key to this success is our restoration of an unbroken academic calendar, ensuring predictable and timely graduation for all students who come here with a sense of purpose and a willingness to work hard at their studies. I am indeed proud that none of you can say that you lost even a moment of your life to industrial action under my watch. Not many of your colleagues in other public Polytechnics in this country can claim the same.
Infrastructure development is a crucial component of our governance Blueprint, and it is evident to you all that Kogi State Polytechnic received her own fair share of attention in that regard. We thank Zenith Bank Plc and other private sector partners who joined hands with us to transform hostels and other campus utilities. Our gratitude also goes to the Federal Government and her agencies like TETFund for working alongside us to provide better living and study conditions for our students.
Of course, none of the foregoing will make any sense if your lives and properties are not safe and secure on this Campus. This led us to tackle the violent cultism that has claimed the lives of many students, along with other social vices that used to be endemic, both on this Campus and in other tertiary institutions in the State. With the full collaboration of staff and students of goodwill here we have been able to expunged the rotten eggs while fostering an environment where students and lecturers can thrive without fear.
Our commitment to the all-round development of your school and to your own progress also extended to the academic front in the form of accreditation for new programmes of study and the re-accreditation of existing ones. We also saw to it that the quality of academic instructions available to you is nothing short of excellent by investing in the requisite human capital through a deliberate policy of merit in staff recruitment and rewards, including promotions.
Your experience here reflects our commitment to the provision of quality and affordable education in a conducive environment in all public institutions in Kogi State. The establishment of two new universities in the State, namely, the Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara and the Kogi State University (KSU), Kabba reflect our response to the rising demand for higher education among our populace. There is no doubt that our Administration has kept the promises we made to our people to improve education and other modern indices of development.
In conclusion, I thank the people of Kogi State and the Kogi State Polytechnic community for their votes in the 2023 Kogi State Governorship Elections which helped to ensure victory for our candidates. As we work towards the transition to a new Administration on the 27th of January, 2024 I assure you that His Excellency, Governor-Elect Usman Ododo will uphold our vision for Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja by ensuring sustained progress in the development of this beloved institution. I solicit your continued support for the incoming team.
Once again, I celebrate our graduands as well as their parents/guardians, and the various support structures which stood behind them to make this day possible. They have been equipped to excel in their various fields and I charge them to go forth and boldly take their place in life as worthy ambassadors of this great and veritable citadel of excellent scholarship.
May 2024 bring increased productivity, promotion and prosperity to Kogi State, to Nigeria – and to us all.
Thank you, and God bless.
YAHAYA BELLO, CON
Governor of Kogi State