The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Transport were among five personalities honoured with Fellows at the combined convocation of Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti on Saturday.
The combined convocation is for the pending graduating sets of 2018/2019, 2019/2020 and 2021/2022.
The ceremony, which also marked the Institution’s 45th anniversary, witnessed the conferment of Fellows on Mr Tunde Fakologbon, Prince Rotimi Ibidapo and Yeye Modupe Babalola, wife of the Founder, Afe Babalola University, Aare Afe Babalola.
The breakdown of the 18th combined convocation had a total of 14,000 Higher National Diploma (HND) and National Diploma (ND) full time and part-time students.
The institution’s Rector, Dr Dayo Oladebeye, expressed satisfaction with the level of development recorded since his assumption of office as the sixth substantive rector in February 2018.
“I am feeling elated because this is the second convocation I will preside over since I took over the mantle of leadership.
“It is apparently going to be the last as far as my current status is concerned.
“My delight is premised on the fact that I will not be leaving behind backlog of convocation to whoever God has destined to mount the saddle after me,” he said.
Oladebeye, who was the first alumnus to become a rector in the institution, promised to continue to work for the progress and development of the polytechnic, even after leaving office.
He said the awardees were being recognised as a way of encouraging the graduating students and those still in school to aspire to greater heights.
The rector listed some of the achievements recorded within his four-year tenure to include the construction of the Mechanical Software Laboratory and procurement of Hi-Tech Communication gadgets for the security unit.
Others, according to him, are construction of Chief Lecturers’ offices, deployment of efficient internet facility and services and reconstruction of some dilapidated buildings on the campus.
He said the polytechnic had established the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, while it had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jeron Global Consult in South Africa for collaboration on mining practical training of MPRET students.
Oladebeye said that the institution was currently facing the challenge of lack of enough operational vehicles, while those in operation were in very poor conditions.
He said that there was also lack of befitting hostel buildings for students.
He listed other challenges as dilapidated staff quarters, lack of multipurpose indoor sports hall, inadequate books and other learning materials, paucity of funds for capital, overhead as well as inadequate computers and accessories for practical.
Oladebeye, therefore, solicited for the assistance of kind-hearted individuals and groups so that the vision and mission of the institution could be actualised.
Mr Iyiola Oyedepo, the Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, commended the management for its outstanding performance and maintaining uninterrupted academic progress.
He said the peaceful atmosphere in the institution that was devoid of industrial action, was because both the council and management operated open door policies in decision making and ensuring constant dialogue with the staff unions.
“We ensure that both the students and industrial unions participate in decisions that affect them.
“I am not saying that we do not have problems, but our ability to tackle the challenges before us is the beauty of our decision making process,” he said.
He congratulated the graduands for achieving academic excellence as well as the awardees for their philanthropic services to humanity and contributions toward the successes achieved by the institution.
In his remarks, Gov. Biodun Oyebanji of Ekiti, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Habibat Adubiaro said the state was blessed to have the institution in the state in terms of its educational importance.
He congratulated the past and present management for the series of achievements it had passed through.
The governor congratulated the students for their perseverance, dedication and commitment to their academic pursuit that resulted in their being graduated.
He restated the administration’s commitment to its six-point agenda of job creation, human capital development, rural development and infrastructure, industrialisation, arts, culture and tourism as well as good governance.
Oyebanji said the agenda were designed to bring the desired succour and relief and make meaningful impact on the welfare and wellbeing of the people of the state.
The visitor to the institution and Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu was represented by Mr Grace Jakko, Director, Technology and Science Department, Federal Ministry of Education, Abuja.
The major highlight of the occasion was the award of certificates and prizes to the graduates.