“When I took over as the Provost, Abia State College of Education Technical, Arochukwu (ASCETA), it was in coma; I, acting like our Lord Jesus Christ, resurrected it and made it a thriving institution of higher learning”, Dr Philip Nto, the Provost of ASCETA, said.
Fielding questions from journalists who had gone to the college in Arochukwu on an assessment tour on Thursday, the Provost gave a descriptive overview of the college and the incident before his assumption of office, stating that he brought his administrative ingenuity to bear in revamping the college.
Besides that, some of his dedicated staff, according to him, assisted him in lifting up the 30-year-old college from the dungeon.
Nto disclosed that ASCETA was in disarray with insecurity as a big threat before his appointment in 2016, citing a particular case where three girls were raped simultaneously and left in a state of despondency, adding “Immediately I assumed office, I reorganised the security unit of the school for better and till today no such incident has occurred”.
“I brought the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) back to the college. Before my assumption of office, the agency had blacklisted the college leading to the abandonment of many projects that should have been done by TETFUND.
“My predecessor didn’t fulfill the agreement between the agency and the college and this led to its withdrawal of its intervention programmes on our school. I borrowed money and completed the projects and today, TETFUND is doing a lot of intervention programmes in this place’, he asserted.
The Provost used the opportunity to inform how he drove lecturers who did not have relevant qualifications to obtain higher Degrees such as Master and PhDs, saying that they were encouraged to obtain students loans in some students’ friendly banks for their academic pursuit.
“And today, they can boast of Masters and PhDs. However, those who failed to upgrade were shown the way out”, he added. On skill acquisition, Nto stated that on assumption of office, he introduced vocational studies and skill acquisition as a fresh Department into the curriculum of the college. He stressed that the objective of introducing the programme was to equip students to be self employed after their academic training.
“Not only the students were given such opportunity, those outside the confines of the college were offered the opportunity. Graciously, our ebullient governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD, accepted this programme and sponsored 85 persons; each from the 17 LGAs of the state to the department.
He used the opportunity to dismiss the allegation that some of the properties of the school were being looted, wondering how the college’s property with a TETFUND inscription emblazoned in them would be stolen.
“The man that made the allegation is a politician who wanted to blackmail me and obtain money from me for a medical trip abroad. He wanted N1million from me and I said I’m not going to do that, he then resorted to blackmail”, he informed.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.