The Acting Rector of Ibom Metropolitan Polytechnic, IBB Uyo, Dr. Victor Effiong Williams has posited that the institution which was then College of Petroleum Technology in the last couple of years has produced the largest number of skilled workers in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, through City and Guilds of London Institute, thereby adding value to the economic and technological sector of the country.

Dr. Williams said the College of Petroleum Technology was birthed to solve critical and major unemployment issues of the country, especially in Niger Delta region of then. It aimed at reducing the burden of youths queing up for white collar jobs even when such are not easy to come by and to meaningfully engage the teaming youths intellectually, technologically, technically and skillfully on what is productive in different fields of endeavours.

All this was revealed while interacting with news men in Uyo recently. He said that Ibom Metropolitan Polytechnic formally established as College of Petroleum Technology, Uyo, was established in 2001 and it was the first academic based Petroleum College in Nigeria with the aim and purpose of being a quick response to the youth restiveness in Nigeria. He noted that youth unemployment used to cause road blocks, Pipeline vandalism, kidnapping of expertrates among other issues in the Niger Delta region where the youths stood up and revolted on the grounds that that they were not included in the employment quota of the oil and gas sector..

The Acting Rector pointed out that in recent times even the blind can see that the government cannot do everything for her people hence; the people should think of what to do for the government. He added that it’s the responsibility of all and sundry country to join hands with the leaders to correct some inadequacies and proffer solutions to most of the lingering issues in the society most especially the issue of unemployment in Nigeria.

“This particular issue of non-inclusion of youths in the oil and gas sector by then was purely not a government problem, it was for people like us to critically look at it and come out with solutions. The core cause of the whole restiveness was because the aggrieved youths never had the kind of qualification that was needed in the oil and gas sector. Consequently we came up with a blueprint of that we could do to give the right training to our youths and ,of course , this was adopted by government.
In a sense, College of Petroleum Technology was birthed as a result of that.”

Explaining and giving reasons why the College of Petroleum Technology was birthed, Dr. Victor Effiong Williams stated that the oil and gas companies in Nigeria were not looking for high profiled persons with weighty certificates in the industry, rather they were looking out for specialized skills that were relevant in the oil and gas industry which the youths did not acquire.

“We started the College because we looked at the fact that oil and gas industries were not looking for a academically high profiled men in the industry but they were looking for specialized skills that were relevant in the industry. As a matter of fact, our youths did not possess those skills. They had Doctorate degrees, Master degrees, BSc in diversed fields but they never had a skill that supported those qualifications which could give them employment in the oil and gas industry.

“Although College of Petroleum Technology has metamorphossed into a viable Polytechnic, we are happy to say that so far, that College had boosted indigenous participation in the oil industry, today, we proud to say that Akwa Ibom has the largest number of skilled workers in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria courtesy of College” He maintened

In another disclosure, he said:

“There was a gap we needed to f fill for people who couldn’t have access to oil and gas industries and that was why we went for a franchise with British Council in order to have City and Guilds of London Institute that does not certify our products only in oils and gas sector but engineering, healthcare, Petroleum ProcessTechnology and many others.” He added.

“Today, we are now Ibom Metropolitan Polytechnic; the goodnews is that we still carry along the oil and gas schools with us but we are looking at something greater than that. It is worrisome knowing that most institutions have produced graduates that are still jobless in the streets because of lack of specialized skills added to certificates.”

“The government policy on Polytechnic education is supposed to be 60% practicals and 40% theory, while University are 60% theory and 40% practicals. But the Polytechnic today, I would not say that they have failed but I think we are bent on making Polytechnic education blend with what it should be. In order words, every graduate can come out to be self employed and employer of labour”.

He affirmed that Ibom Metropolitan Polytechnic is poised to award an academic diploma and a specialized skilled qualification to qualified students who are found competent in both character, learning and skill.

“This institution is known for breaking fresh grounds in Nigeria. We started the first private College of Petroleum in Akwa Ibom State and today we are the first institution to start awarding skilled based certification in specialized areas.”

“We came on a mission not for monetary gain but to change the narrative of educational system in Nigeria and contribute to human development in the country.” He maintained.

Dr. Victor Williams noted that Ibom Metropolitan Polytechnic is currently running three Schools (Faculties), School of Engineering, School of Sciences and School of Management Sciences with five departments, Electrical Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering, Statistics, Accountancy and Computer Science which are approved and accredited by National Board For Technical Education (NBTE) adding that the institution is opened for multiple skill training beyond these five areas. In addition to existing skill departments like Fashion and Designs, Welding and Fabrication, Hairdressing and paint making, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed with some skill based organisations to train our students on some other viable skills.

“The core values of Ibom Metropolitan Polytechnic is to align with the guidelines of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to promote vocational education which they hold in high esteem.

“Entrepreneurship should be taught by entrepreneurs. Ibom Metropolitan Polytechnic conducted the first Induction for the first set of entrepreneurship students which was our commitment when a student had completed his/her education and acquire the National Diploma, he/she should also have a specialized skill certificate along with the National Diploma. This vocational skill certificate is a proof of what they can do with hands.

He however commended His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State for making the state education and industrial friendly through the peace and security enjoyed within the nooks and crannies of Akwa Ibom State which have given the institution a leveled ground to operate without any breach of peace..

Speaking further, Dr. Victor Williams hinted that the institution is very strict in making sure no form of unauthorized or cladestine group manifests within Polytechnic community. While stressing that any students found indulging in cult related activities shall not evade appropriate sanctioning within the armbit of law including arrest, detention and prosecution

In conclusion ,he expressed all amount of convictions that with the right education in place Nigeria would navigate from developing status to a developed one and therefore urge all facilitators of education to enter that entrepreneurship is being made concrete across different schools.

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