“Little things and places will always remain what they are until great things happen to them”- Anonymous
The lots of the serene and peaceful village of Ikot Akai, Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, agrees totally with the above statement, as the advent of an idea that will forever put to area on the pages of destination where knowledge can be found has been birthed.
For all its worth not much may have been known of Ikot Akai Community due to the relative lack of corporate, social or governmental presence, but like the biblical Nazareth, it has brought forth a citadel that will give light and hope to Akwa Ibom and the rest of the world, the Sure Foundation Polytechnic.
Christened as an ivory tower that will educate, innovate and inspire; the coming of this institution is one that has defied every pessimistic thought of how soon a light so bright could have illuminated our clime, true to it, the vision was for an appointed time.
The establishment of schools to see to the educational and social needs of a society may have been an unmistakable craving of our clime, but this very essential part of social development had almost lost its steam when founders, beneficiaries and promoters of the famous Ibibio Union lost the guiding ideals that led to its establishment.
Soon after losing its guiding ideals, the Ibibio Union’s model of promoting massive literacy was adopted by the Western Nigerian sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who showed great interest at ensuring every Yoruba man had sound education; a gesture which in the long run paid off, putting them as the country’s education capital and their people positioned and prepared to take responsibilities in the Nigerian nation that was later to emerge.
At that time, little more sacrifices and concessions was required, making the rest of unfolding events of the post Ibibio Union era a moon tale story. Most disheartening of the events that led to the breakup of the promising union is that it left our people begging for opportunities to get quality education from climes that would have emulated them, if they were firm and united
This left a lacuna that seemed as though no effort would ever bridge, until late 90s when some spirited statesmen began to see education differently other than a short term pecuniary investment. They saw education as the candle stand that will elevate our clime to heights many at that time could only imagine.
Some years after the introduction of private concerns in education, a more resolute hand and mind has joined the league of our generational torchbearers, through the establishment of an institution with the poise and ambition to change the game and usher in a completely new era where our clime will attract the world through specialized skills.
The lifeline which the coming of Sure Foundation Polytechnic has brought, remind tens of thousands in our clime of the brunt they suffered in securing admission into tertiary institutions years after completing their Post Primary education, due to unavailability of credible alternatives to the already over populated institutions where we had to compete for opportunities, which sometimes went the way of deep pockets.
The unavailability of credible alternatives to the few citadels of higher learning we had, clearly became the very reason dreams of higher studies for some people could not see the light of the day, not because most of them could not meet the requirements, but the authorities were left with no choice than come up with unthinkable disadvantaged conditions, which ranged from ethnic considerations, social status to monetary inducements.
The ingenuity of Dr. Idongesit Udom, the Proprietor of the institution deserves special commendation, his forthrightness and resilience through the rigorous processes of getting education authorities in the country to accredit Sure Foundation Polytechnic cannot go without a mention, especially the passion he has shown to building a virile and sustainable society, at a time others in his standing would take a holiday in some of the world’s most beautiful cities, having worked all his life.
With a founder whose penchant for quality education is unrivalled, it is safe to posit that this institution is positioned to take on exploits and true to its brand, mould men the society would be proud of, as a readily available manpower database will be established from the manifold professionals it shall in few years churn out.
The idea behind this institution oozes from the cerebral mind of a man whose years of experience and class distinction in delivering technical services for more than 33 years in the oil and gas operations and management, as MPN Project Coordinator for Frontier Oil, Universal Energy and Network & Producing (FUN), Greenfield start-up Superintendent ExxonMobil, ETS operations Superintendent, Oso/Ngl/Gas operations superintendent, points him an authority in turbines and compressors, green field project start-ups and condensate operations as well as pipeline maintenance.
A 2009 professional of the year award by International Union of Students, Czech Republic, 2013 ExxonMobil Executive Resource Award, 2013 Platinum award International Fellowship Center, USA. He is a fellow institute of Human and Natural resources.
Positioned to offer National Diplomas and Higher National Diplomas in management, sciences, engineering and technology courses, this promising citadel with the blend of the founder’s resolve to build an enduring academic environment that will lead Nigeria’s drive to self-realization, holds an impeccable stake in the future our society craves.
With the resumption of academic business, never will the cravings of the people remain the same, as they will now have to look out for new worries, in the gratitude that their educational fortunes have found a lasting solution through Dr. Idongesit Udom’s ingenious contribution and intervention in changing the story of Ukanafun for the better.
As at last count, more than one hundred people with excellent academic resume have been taken off the labour market through various direct and indirect employment opportunities, to provide educational services, which will define the ambitious future that will launch our clime to its desired prominence.
Thankfully, the citadel apart from the scholarly excellence it is positioned to attain, will herald tremendous socio economic reawakening for the area, businesses will spring up and housing will get a boost, property owners will behold an era of robust financial luck.
Researches and inventions that will spring up with the coming of this lofty idea will not only announce our clime, but if properly harnessed will reawaken the desire for technical education as the next destination for Nigeria’s greatness, through entrepreneurial and creative skills that will de-emphasize conventional education to promote viable and sustainable skills.
With an unassuming ambition of assembling best learning facilities around this part of the country, the institution parades cutting edge technical and laboratory equipments aimed at making education and training a pleasant experience. The array of modern technologically enhanced machines available in the school avails a warming assurance that Sure Foundation Polytechnic, Ikot Akai, is positioned to lead the technological drive our society craves.
Security within and around the campus may be the least of worries for parents, staff and students, as the collaborative efforts of the security agencies, school security and the host communities are such that will guaranty safe and to preserve the sane culture and moral standing the institution has premiered with. In sustaining a watertight security, it is worthy to note that the entire vicinity of the campus is fixated on the footing to challenge social vices in all its form.
With a serene, spacious and well-ventilated hostel accommodation, learning would be everything but boring, as these facilities are so located in such manner that makes schooling and learning a habitual fun. In every sense of the word comfort and convenience, the hostels in this citadel of technical excellence is home away from home
As Sure Foundation Polytechnic comes on board, it behooves on every citizen and even the authorities to give the school every required support and encouragement through workable and gainful partnerships and interventions as an encouragement to the visioner, who has given his all to the advancement of knowledge in our society.
Providing quality education may be viewed as what government owes her citizen, but asking for special grants, interventions and support for people who have gone out of way to assist in this regard would not be out of place. Many people may see Sure Foundation Polytechnic as being too new for such considerations, but unassailable is the fact that it has began stronger and better than any known government institution ever did.
With an ambitious craving to turn out as Nigeria’s best citadel for Technological knowledge transfer and practical entrepreneurship, it is no gainsaying that this institution would grow to raise a narrative of innovation and creativity, which will define the endeavours of our clime to earn us more accolades and acclaim.
As we stay grateful to Dr. Idongesit Udom’s ingenious gesture of sacrificing to the course of humanity, it is in order to get on the roof tops to proclaim to the whole world, that in a black race dwells a man who is never tired of stooping to help our society attain its full potential of ensuring “the labour of our heroes past is not in vain”
Behold a new dawn has premiered, welcome to Sure Foundation Polytechnic, a citadel that will educate, innovate and inspire Nigeria’s 21st century technological rise.
* Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak Local Government Area.