Bayelsa federal poly seeks intervention over threatening coastal erosion
The management of the Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, in southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State, has raised the alarm over the threatening coastal erosion that has so far claimed 10 per cent of the facilities in the premier oil and gas-based tertiary institution.
The Rector of the school, Dr. Seiyaboh Idaho, who spoke while briefing newsmen at the Yenagoa Liaison Office of the institution, sought both federal and state governments’ intervention over the menace of the erosion.
Idaho, who was represented by his Executive Assistant, Alagha Bibi-Welson, said that the polytechnic, which has the capacity to host 15,000 full-time and part-time students, had been unable to attain its full potentials as a result of the erosion.
He also enumerated some other problems facing the school to include failure of the institution to be connected to the national grid, a situation that forces the management to run power generating sets for 20 hours, affecting productivity of members of staff and students.
The Rector explained that insecurity and the perennial flood challenges had forced about 5,000 students of Bayelsa origin to seek admission in neighbouring Delta State Polytechnic.
He pointed out that besides these challenges, the issue of workers’ salary shortfall, which was responsible for incessant strike actions at the institution, had been permanently resolved and boosted their morale.
He recounted that it took the intervention of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to rectify the situation, which was the bane of recurring staff-management squabbles for many years.
He said that the institution now enjoys stable working relationship among management, members of staff and students, disclosing that the polytechnic now has about 4,000 students as against a total of just 40 students in 2017 when he came on board.
Idaho, who said that the school had concluded plans to admit over 1,000 students in 2020 to grow the student population to over 5,000, however, hinted that despite the appreciable achievements recorded under him, the citadel of learning is not without some challenges, including abandonment of projects, shortage of members of staff and accommodation, insecurity, coastal erosion and lack of access road.
He said the polytechnic, sited at Ekowe, a coastal settlement by the bank of River Nun in Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State, could only be assessed by passenger boats.