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By Uduak Udosen

Ages and epochs normally define people. But there are exceptional individuals who define their age, who steer the tumultuous and tempestuous course of history by stamping on it the badge of their powerful personality or powerful ideas. This is the story of Dr Moses Umobong, the Acting Rector of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osurua.

His choice by Governor Udom Emmanuel as Acting Rector has only confirmed his geometric rise in his professional career to the admiration of his friends and admirers and the utter consternation of his critics. Beyond all expectations, the trajectory of fate offered him a bigger mandate and responsibility following his appointment and subsequent assumption of office on 11th January, 2019 as Acting Rector – an office he has so far held with an administrative acumen and which has become the benchmark in the comity of polytechnics.

With a pace, tempo and dynamism that is unpararreled and unprecedented in the history of Akwapoly, Dr Umobong has strived to reposition the institution towards achieving the mandate, ideals and objectives for which it was established.

Evidently, Dr Umobong has so far succeeded in changing the narrative of the institution. For example, cultism is almost on extinction, academic excellence has been restored and staff welfare is now topmost priority.

Recently, with the approval of the Polytechnic Governing Council, he has conducted an accesement of each department of the institution to determine the quality and quantity of the existing equipment and facilities in a bid to prepare the institution for the forthcoming accreditation and reaccreditation exercise by the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE.

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This laudable, unprecedented and proactive administrative approach should be applauded by all well meaning stakeholders that have the interest of the polytechnic at heart. Ironically, his critics have mistook the conduct of need accessment for a probe against the inherent benefits of such exercise.

Known for his ideological fidelity, great capacity for work and prodigious energy to organise with outstanding administrative acumen, Dr Umobong has purchased 6 official vehicles foe use by Principal officers and Deans of Schools from the internal generated revenue, IGR, of the institution

One other unprecedented reform the Rector has carried out within his few months in office is the determination to process and clear backlog of results from 2004 to date. Graduands within this time-frame can now collect their certificates and move on to aspire to achieve their life goals.

Also, Dr Umobong’s reformatory mission has led to the enforcement of the abolition notice of 2006with regards to Distance Learning Programmes which officially came into force in 2008. To this end, any certificate purportedly issued after 2008 by any individual or individuals becomes extinct and illegal with regards to Distance Learning Programmes.

Dr Moses Umobong is exceptional, in tone and simplicity he goes about his duties with a humility that is amiable. He is a quiet and reticent fellow, devoted to duty and hard work and given to stoic fortitude and christianly forbearance.

Today, both staff and students can see in him many Umobong’s. They can see Umobong the technocrat, the strategist, the administrator, the mobilizer, the organizer, the patriot, the legal luminary, the reformer and the Acting Rector with a difference. Indeed, better days are here for Akwapoly.

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