HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE POLYTECHNIC

The Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi is one of the seven Polytechnics established by the Federal Military Government under Decree No. 33 of July, 1979.  The Decree stipulates the functions of the Polytechnic to be as follows:-

  1. To provide full-time or part-time courses of instruction and training in Technology, Applied Science, Commerce and Management and in such other fields of applied learning relevant to the needs of the development of Nigeria in the areas of Industrial and Agricultural production and distribution and for research in the development and adaptation of techniques as the Council may from time to time determine.
  2. To arrange conferences, seminars and study groups relative to the fields of learning specified above and
  3. To perform such other functions as in the opinion of the Council may serve to promote the objects of the Polytechnic.

The Polytechnic started skeletal work in May 1979.  However, academic activities actually took off on 22nd November, 1979 with an initial student population of 245 registered in eleven departments.  Apart from those admitted for the introductory course, all the other students were admitted for the 4-year Nigerian National Diploma (NND) Programme.

The Polytechnic started with initial staff strength of 138 comprising 45 and 93 senior and junior staff respectively.  The pioneer principal officers who managed the affairs of the Polytechnic were:

  1. Engr. M.O. Anyiam – Rector
  2. Mr. Duro Orisanaiye – Deputy Registrar
  3. Mr. D.G. Sangal – Principal Librarian
  4. Mr. Ozo Nebo – Senior Accountant
  5. Prof. J.F. Lemen – Dean, Sch. Of Technology
  6. Mr. E.M.O. Alaiyemola – Ag. Dean, School of Business Studies
  7. Mr. A.M. Chandry – Dean, School of Engineering Technology

The first Governing Council of the Polytechnic under the Chairmanship of Alhaji Y.A. Olatunji was appointed in February, 1981.

The Polytechnic administrative departments were located in two buildings along Yandoka Road while a part of the Bauchi Teachers College now General Hassan Usman Katsina Unity College was offered by the Bauchi State Government for use of the Polytechnic as students’ hostels, cafeteria, lecture rooms, typing studio, library and medical centre.  In 1980, when the Bauchi State Government decided to establish an Advanced Teachers’ College now College of Education, Azare, in Bauchi Metropolis, the Polytechnic vacated the Unity College to its permanent Site.  Consequently, some houses were rented along Ran Road in downtown Bauchi and used for academic activities.  Some other rented buildings were used as female hostels in Yelwa village while the male hostels were located along Maiduguri Road, near Gubi Dam Road junction.

From the inception of the Polytechnic, the idea of establishing a demonstration farm for the Department of Agricultural Engineering was nurtured.  Consequently, a road camp situated at Wailo, about 60 kilometres from Bauchi metropolis used by the Societies General Enterprises Nigeria (SGEN), Company.

The original idea of a demonstration farm at Wailo crystallized into a satellite campus in 1981 when the newly established Department of Agricultural Engineering moved with the Department of Basic Science to that location.  The site was christened Wailo campus and a Director, Dr. N.C. Udeh, was appointed to manage its affairs.

At the beginning of 1982/83 session, all the units of the Polytechnic in Bauchi metropolis moved to the permanent campus.

The Polytechnic permanent campus occupies an area of about 750 hectares and is situated at Gwallameji village along Bauchi – Dass Road.  It has been planned to be a modern self-contained campus with residential, academic and recreation facilities.  The Polytechnic provides all the necessary facilities required for the smooth running of the institution which includes offices, laboratories and workshops, staff houses, demonstration farm, demonstration hotel, Audio-Visual Centre (AVC), Medical Services, Library Services, Staff School, Sports Complex and Transport System.

With dwindling financial resources and galloping inflation in the country at large, the Polytechnic authorities decided to concentrate all its activities on one location only.  Therefore, in 1983, Wailo Campus was closed down and the departments moved to the permanent site.

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

When the Federal Polytechnic was established in 1979, it started operating in rented buildings along Yandoka and Ran Roads.  The present site of the Polytechnic at Gwallameji village, 8km southwest of Bauchi Township was acquired in 1980.

Between 1980 and 1981, the main effort of the Polytechnic was toward the provision of infrastructural facilities required for harmonious and rational development.  The campus was fenced, 5km of surface dressed roads constructed and about 8km of electricity distribution network were completed with street lighting.

To facilitate academic activities on the site, while development of the main campus continued, “an Emergency Zone” was identified at the South East corner of the site.  All construction activities on the later part of 1981 and most of 1982 were restricted to this area.  By the end of 1982, the following buildings were completed and occupied:

i) Central Library

ii) Four (4) Administrative Blocks

iii) Four (4) Blocks of 16-room student Hostels

iv) A block of cafeteria

v) Four (4) Blocks of classrooms

vi) Ten (10) units of 3-Bedroom Staff Housing with boys quarters and

vii) Two Blocks of Laboratories.

The following two years (1984-86) were utilized for the development of laboratories and workshops.  Three Blocks for Mechanical Engineering Department were completed.  It was during this period that most of the equipment for technology-based programmes was received.  These workshops were therefore used to store the equipment.  A studio for the School of Environmental Studies was completed.

Staff housing improved with the completion of an additional fifteen Type A three-bedroom houses, without boys quarters.  Progress in another housing estate culminated in the occupation of ten units of Type B three-bedroom houses, with boys’ quarters.  A 2km access road was constructed within the estate.  Classroom accommodation improved with the completion of two blocks of classrooms with a capacity of 60 students each.  In continuation of the development of academic facilities, equipment for workshops for Mechanical and Civil Engineering Departments were installed between 1985 and 1986.  This period also saw the completion and equipping of the Catering and Hotel Management building now Hotel and Tourism Management, Science Technology Laboratory block, Agricultural Engineering laboratories, Food Science Technology workshop and Electrical Engineering block.  Staff housing again improved with the completion of 5 units of three bedroom houses in the “emergency zone.”

A total occupancy of the other three-bedroom housing unit rose to 15 while five units of type C 4-bedroom housing were completed and occupied.  In February 1986, the central Administration moved to a newly completed building.  The campus was further beautified with the construction of a main entrance gate.

At the beginning of 1985, the precarious water supply situation began to improve with the drilling of two boreholes.  A water distribution system connected to two boreholes was put to use in 1986 bringing continuous tap water to the Central Administration building, some administrative blocks and selected laboratories and hostels too.

In 1987, the School of Environmental Studies complex of offices, classrooms and studio was commissioned.  Other laboratory blocks completed within this period include the Thermodynamics and Numerical Control Laboratory block and an extension to the department of Electrical Engineering building.

A centrally located office block was also constructed for senior academic staff.  It has 20 offices, a conference room, a typing pool and toilets.  Provision of staff housing continued with the present stock standing at 18 units of Type C 4-bedroom.  26 units of Type B 3-bedroom with boys quarters and 30 units Type A of 3-bedroom houses without boys quarters.  Work on the two units of two-storey student hostel blocks which was started in 1982 was finally completed.  Each of the blocks has 48 rooms accommodating 4 students each bringing the total to 192 students per block.  Each block also has two common rooms, three laundry rooms, toilets and store.  The Polytechnic has continued to acquire and install equipment in workshops and laboratories.

A lot of improvement was made in the area of water supply with the completion of the reticulation in the Types A and C housing estates.  More laboratories and workshops were also connected.

Towards improving the system of water supply, a ground and overhead tank with a capacity of 100,000 gallons and 60,000 gallons respectively as well as a pumping station were erected and taken over within this period.  Also two ground water tanks with a capacity of 4,000 gallons each were constructed and put to use for the two units of two-story students hostel blocks.

Towards improving the environment and providing extra security and privacy for the female students the four units of hostel blocks being occupied by them were fenced with block wall.  The total area of the fence is 201m2.

The period between 1992 and 1999 witnessed major strides in infrastructural development in the Polytechnic.  Administrative block for the staff school was built, the Rector’s office and the adjourning Council Chamber was expanded while the Agricultural Engineering Technology Workshop was modified to cope with the challenges of modern technological development.  It was also during this period that blocks C, D, E & F classrooms were renovated and equipped with Tip-up seats.

Other major developments include the construction of the imposing Muhammadu Wabi Library equipped with modern facilities and books to handle the needs of staff and students.  The Polytechnic Guest House was acquired along No. 5 Sa’adu Zungur road, G.R.A. Bauchi.  The complex has in 2002 metamorphosed into the Polycon Guest House offering lodging and catering services to the public and managed by the Consultancy Unit of the Polytechnic.

The absence of an adequate sporting arena in the institution necessitated the construction of a sports complex which was ready for the hosting of the Polytechnic Senior Staff Games (NIPOSSGA) in 1994, and served as training ground for the under 20 World Youths Championship at the Bauchi Centre in 1999.

It is equally remarkable that the Hotel and Tourism Management Department moved into the block of 4 classrooms constructed during the period with the assistance of the Education Tax Fund (ETF).  This immediately eased the problems of inadequate space engendered by the steady increase in student population.

Admittedly, the period under review was a period of renaissance in infrastructural development in the Polytechnic.  It took the form of construction, reconstruction, renovation, acquisition, equipping and management of infrastructural facilities which was evident in the steady growth and development of the institution in terms of standard and quality of its output.

During this period, interventions by the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF) and the Education Tax Fund (ETF), brought moderate improvements to the Polytechnic in the construction of classrooms and the provision of other facilities.  Many classrooms and most of the hostels had been renovated through these funds.  In addition to these, new blocks of classrooms were erected through ETF interventions for our School of Business Studies and for the Department of Hotel and Catering Management.

Using the Polytechnic’s savings and other internally generated funds, work commenced on the construction of an ultra-modern office/classroom block that will house the Departments of Accountancy and Business Administration and Management.

In addition to all these, the Polytechnic was fully connected to the Internet with a well-defined web site of its own.  The library was also fully structurally cabled for computer networking.  The resources in the library were entered into the database of the computer for ease of access by users.  These were all meant to meet the challenges of this millennium and beyond.

Throughout the period under review, there had been systematic replacement of classroom seats with more modern ones, tip-up seats that are more durable and more befitting of a tertiary institution.

As part of the Institutions desire to improve on staff and students’ welfare, the Polytechnic has acquired and installed two brand new generating sets-one of 500 KVA and the other of 250 KVA capacity.  Two brand new buses, Mercedes MB 1414 were added to the fleet of the Polytechnic – one donated by the PTF and the other by the National Board for Technical Education.  These developments proved to be of immense help in alleviating the transportation problems of staff and students.  Considering the large investment of resources in the Polytechnic, a fire vehicle was acquired through the help of the NBTE.  Apart from the Polytechnic Community, the fire department provides services to other parts of Bauchi town and environs whenever the need arises.

PROGRAMMES

At take off in 1979, the institution had the following programmes in place.

a.    School of Business Studies

  1. Department of Accountancy
  2. Department of Business Administration and Management
  3.  Department of Secretarial Studies
  4. Department of General Studies

b.    School of Engineering

  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering
  2. Department of Electrical/Electronics Engineering
  3. Department of Civil Engineering

c.    School of Technology

  1. Department of Science Laboratory Technology
  2. Department of Food Technology
  3. Department of Hotel and Catering Management
  4. Department of Basic Science

The programmes were to be run at the HND level but for the cancellation of the two-tier (ND/HND) system by the Federal Government.  However in 1980, when the two-tier programme was re-introduced, students were required to choose whether to do the HND course or to terminate at the ND level and thereafter offer the HND course.

The Department of General Studies in the School of Business Studies at inception serviced the Institution in three major courses: Communication skills, Social Sciences and Humanities.  It also taught French Language to students of the Department of Hotel Catering and Management.  The Department of Basic Science was established in 1979 to run the Pre-ND (Science) Programmes as well as service the institution in science based courses.  By 1980, more departments were created and academic activities increased by the following:-

  1. Establishment of the Department of Mining Engineering in the School of Engineering;
  2. The School of Environmental Studies where the Department of Estate Management was started; and
  3. The setting up of a Continuing Education Centre in the Rector’s Office to provide informal education to working adults in the immediate community.  It ran several courses

From 1980, Craft Certificate courses were run by the Polytechnic on request by the Bauchi State Government.  Sixty-four (64) candidates drawn from the then 16 local government areas in the former Bauchi State graduated in courses such as Electrical Installation, Building Craft, Carpentry and Joinery, Automotive Machines and Welding and Fabrication Techniques.  With time, some departments started offering various certificate courses.  These include:-

  1. Department of Accountancy – Assistant Executive Officer (Accounts and Audit)
  2. Department of Business Administration and Management – Assistant Executive Officer (General Administration) Introduced in 1982.
  3. Department of Secretarial Administration – Confidential Secretary – Introduced in 1982 and Confidential Secretary III – Introduced in 1986.
  4. Department of Catering and Hotel Management – Certificate course in Catering and Hotel Operation – Introduced in 1982.
  5. The Department of Agricultural Engineering took off in 1981.

The School of Environmental Studies was also expanded to include the Department of Architecture and Land Surveying.  Introductory courses in Arts and Science were started in 1983.

In 1987, the School of General Studies was created to take care of these courses in Arts (Department of Arts and Social Sciences) and Science (Department of Basic Sciences) while the Department of Computer Science was incorporated in the new School as a Service Department.

The introduction of the accreditation of programme by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has, however, compelled the Polytechnic to suspend some programmes at certain levels pending their accreditation.  These include the HND programmes in Civil Engineering, Architecture, Mining Engineering, Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology and Land Surveying.

At present, the Polytechnic has five Schools namely:

  1. School of Business Studies
  2. School of Engineering Technology
  3. School of Environmental Technology
  4. School of General Studies, and
  5. School of Science Technology.

The Polytechnic now offers accredited programmes at ND and HND level in:-

  1. Accountancy
  2. Business Administration and Management,
  3. Office Technology and Management,
  4. Electrical/Electronics Engineering Technology,
  5. Mechanical Engineering Technology
  6. Civil Engineering Technology
  7. Agricultural Engineering Technology,
  8. Estate Management,
  9. Architecture
  10. Survey and Geo-Informatics
  11. Hospitality and Technology Management
  12. Food Science and Technology
  13. Science Technology
  14. Banking and Finance
  15. Marketing
  16. Computer Science (at ND level only)
  17. Building Technology (at ND level only)
  18. Quantity Surveying (at ND level only)

Between 2000 and 2003 efforts were mounted to ensure expansion of the academic scope of the institution in order to reduce the perennial admission pressure and for the institution to be more responsive to the requirements of national development and the yearnings and aspirations of the host society.  To this effect, ten more programmes were proposed and visited by the NBTE inspection team, namely:

  1. School of Environmental Technology

ND Quantity Surveying

ND Building Technology

  1. School of Business

HND Marketing

  1. School of Technology

ND Tourism

ND Nutrition and Dietetic

HND Biology/Biochemistry & Physics/Electronic options

  1. School of General Studies

ND Mass Communication

ND Statistics

  1. School of Engineering

HND Post Harvest Technology (Option)

ND Agricultural Technology

Approval was eventually granted to run the National Diploma in all except Tourism. Mass Communication and HND Post Harvest Technology.  The Polytechnic also offers evening courses at HND, Diploma and Certificate levels in the following departments.

  1. Accountancy – Higher National Diploma, Diploma in Public Accounts and Auditing, Certificate in Accounting, Certificate Community Banking.
  2. Business Administration and Management – Higher National Diploma in Business Administration and Management, Diploma in Management Studies, Certificate in Management.
  3. Secretarial Studies – Confidential Secretary Grade IV.
  4. Electrical/Electronics Engineering – Diploma in Electrical Engineering (3 years Technical Staff programme with Ashaka Cement PLC), Elementary Certificate in Electrical Installation and Costing.
  5. Mechanical Engineering – Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (3 years Technical staff programme with Ashaka Cement Plc.)
  6. Basic Studies Department – Pre-ND courses in Arts (Business Administration, Secretarial Studies and Accountancy) And Sciences (Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering Agricultural Engineering, Estate Management, Food Science and Technology, Science Technology, Architecture).
  7.  Diploma and Certificate courses in Surveying.

An outreach campus for consultancy services at Kaltungo, Gombe State was established in April 1999.  Diploma in Public Accounts and Auditing, Management Studies and Certificate courses in Accountancy, Management and Public Accounts and Auditing were offered there.  The Campus was however, short lived as it was closed down at the behest of a government policy which directed the immediate closure of outreach campuses throughout the country.

Students Enrolment

Students’ enrolment increased geometrically from an initial student’s intake of 245 in 1979 to a total of 58,742 in 2003.  A general picture of students’ enrolment from 1979 to 2003 is shown on pages 27 and 28.

Staffing

The Polytechnic which started with staff strength of 138, comprising of 45 junior staff now has staff strength of 1,067.

Notable Achievements

The story of the Polytechnic is one of success in terms of expansion and development in all spheres.  These include:-

a) Students enrolment has increased from 245 in 1979, 1,987 in 1990 to 31,942 in 1998/99 and 39,442 in 1999/2000, 47,942 in 2000/2001 and 58,742 in 2003.

b) Staff strength has increased from 138 in 1979 to 721 in 1990, and from 918 in 1998/99 to 1,067 in the year 2003.

c) In the area of staff welfare, the Polytechnic has succeeded in stabilizing a system whereby any staff who retired from the Polytechnic was able to go home with not less than 75% of his/her gratuity within two weeks of retirement.  The balance of 25% was paid to the staff as soon as the underwriters to the Polytechnic’s Pension and Gratuity Scheme released the funds for the staffs’ benefits.  In this way, our retirees were able to meet the challenges of retired life with a bit more courage.

d) There has also been an expansion in programmes in all Schools/Departments.  At inception, there were 11 departments in three Schools.  As at now, there are 20 Departments in five Schools.

e) Physical facilities have expanded tremendously.  At inception, the Polytechnic was accommodated in rented buildings all over Bauchi town.  The Polytechnic can now boast of a modest self-contained campus with the following facilities:

a) Well equipped Classrooms and Laboratories.

b)Staff Houses

c)Medical Centre

d) Staff School (Primary School)

e) Network of Roads

f) Students (Male and Female) Hostels

g) Sporting facilities.

Most of these facilities have undergone renovation and upgrading.  For instance, most of the classrooms now have Tip-up seats.  A Wild A8 Stereo plotter was purchased for Land Surveying, later digitized, as well as Machine Tool and Metrology equipment for Mechanical Engineering.  Computers were acquired for the Computer Centre and the Polytechnic connected to the Internet.  Duplicating machines and computers were provided for all departments.  A 500 KVA Perkins Generator was purchased.  Some fairly used cars were acquired to argument the Polytechnic’s transport fleet.

Other notable achievements include, the construction and installation of a Language/Shorthand laboratory, administrative Block for the Staff School, Extension of the Rector’s Office and a Conference Room, Modification of Agricultural Engineering Technology Workshop, Classrooms for the Staff School, Structured Cabling and the Building and computerisation of a new Library.  This gigantic structure stands distinct within the premise.

Also, some projects have been funded by the Petroleum Task Fund such as the Renovation of the Male Students Hostel, Bursary Block, Registry Block, School of Business Block, Installation of 500 KVA Generator set and the supply of a 250 MB 1414 Bus.  The National Board for Technical Education has within the period under review supplied five 504 vehicles and an MB 1414 Bus.

The Education Tax Fund has funded the construction of classroom/laboratory block for the School of Business, Hotel and Catering Department, renovation of the School of Environmental Technology Administrative block and Studio, renovation of White House block, Medical Centre and the purchase of equipment for Civil Engineering Technology to meet NBTE accreditation standard for HND.

Another area where the Polytechnic has made considerable impact is in the area of sports.  Sportsmen and women from the institution have been taking part in national sports festivals as part of Bauchi State contingent.

The Institution has made seven (7) appearances in the Nigerian Polytechnic Games (NIPOGA).  In spite of our disadvantages in terms of emolument vis-à-vis the first generation institutions, the Polytechnic has been doing well in this competition.

In 1987, the Polytechnic team represented Nigeria at the 9th All Africa Senior Club Female Handball championships.  The team came fourth in the tournament6 and thus became the fourth best handball team in Africa.

It is notable that a one time African champion in 100 metres Hurdle (Angela Atede) at the World University Games is a product of the Institution’s tutelage.

Table Tennis, Chess and Football competitions have received equal attention both at the other games like level of staff and students.

For instance, the senior staffs have represented the institution at the NBTE/NIPOSSGA Competition since 1990.  In 1991 at the Polytechnic, Ibadan our senior staff team won the coveted football cup and got the silver at the Federal Polytechnic Oko in 1992.

These achievements in sports were made possible because of the elaborated sports programme of the Polytechnic coupled with the upgrading of old facilities and the building new ones.

The Polytechnic is reckoned with as an Institution of academic excellence all over the country.  Many favourable reports from employers concerning the performance of our students have been received while the institution continues to keep and maintain a very high standard at a time when the standard of education in the country is at its lowest ebb.  Many of our students are now registered members of Professional bodies like ICAN, ANAN, COREN, SURCON etc.

Crisis and Natural Disaster

  1. Crisis:

Between the period January 1980 and December 1981, the institution was engulfed in a series of crisis that almost threatened its very existence.  With units of the institution located in various parts of Bauchi metropolis and its environs, coordination of activities became very difficult.

The students’ crisis of April 1980 during which part of the temporary students cafeteria was burnt down is the only recorded serious case of crisis.

The peace within the campus is responsible for the meaningful progress and development of the institution over the years.

2. Natural Disaster:

In June 1987, the Polytechnic witnessed a natural disaster of a heavy rainstorm which damaged many buildings and equipment on the campus.  The roofs of a number of classrooms and staff houses were blown off and valuable properties destroyed.  This major disaster brought a set back in both academic pursuit and social life on the campus.  However, the prompt assistance received from the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Board for Technical Education enabled the Polytechnic to repair the damages caused quickly.  Although minor cases of rainstorms have been recorded with minimum damage, these have been controlled by the management without any distress call to concerned higher authorities.

In 2002, a fire outbreak resulting from electric cooker razed down one block of the female hostel.