Kevin Egesi was a staff of Abia State College of Education (Technical), Arochukwu until December this year when it was obvious that he had become a liability rather than an asset; the reason he was affected by the ongoing re-organization which he erroneously regards as victimization. As a keen watcher of events at ASCETA, I am persuaded to respond to his recent outburst one on one for the world to see that Mr Egesi is more of a politician than a lecturer and should be weeded out without any delay before he antics infect the students under his care with partisanship and turn them into unwilling tools for desperate politicians.
First of all Mr Egesi alleged that Dr Nto was not qualified to have been appointed a Provost in the first place. His reason was that “Dr Philips Nto was not a qualified Chief Lecturer in any College of Education (emphasis mine) to hold the mantle of Chief Executive Officer of the College”. The implication is that only Chief Lecturers in Colleges of Education can be appointed as Provost of the College. There is no doubt that Dr Philips Nto epitomizes hard work, focus and determination. A peep into his life is a demonstration of grit, academic excellence and determination, coupled with commitment to excel. Qualities that an accomplished academician, a professional should have which he is to the core. His brilliant near record at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike can be attested to by the staff and students of the University before his appointment. Dr Philips Nto started his working career at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike as a Lecturer in the Department of Agribusiness and Management and College of Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology and Extension (CAERSE) and held other different but challenging responsibilities in the University such as Deputy Director, Centre for Gender and Child Development Affair among other positions It is laughable for Mr Egesi to allege that Dr Nto is not a teacher even when he is a lecturer at a foremost tertiary institution. On the strength of this brilliant record that he was appointed the Provost of the College by the State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.
On assumption of office in 2016, Dr Nto met a College on the verge of collapse without any development agenda both academically and infrastructurally. Affiliation with Abia State University, Uturu was on hold due to inability of the College to meet up with the conditions of that affiliation; more so, when the affiliation was by an Executive fiat, which became an issue with the National Universities Commission. Dr Nto revived that and also successfully affiliated to the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike. The affiliation with the two institutions was running on smoothly until the NUC insisted it be suspended until certain legal and institutional frameworks were addressed. Currently the College is still interfacing with the NUC and the two universities for a more beneficial outcome for the College. It is however a thing of joy that the State Government under Dr Ikpeazu has seen the need to upgrade the College to a university to drastically and of course remove the bottleneck occasioned by the dwindling fortunes of NCE and degree holders which has affected student enrolment in the College. Added to this is the recent JAMB policy where tertiary institutions are banned to admit students except through JAMB’s Central Admission Processing System (CAPS). That singular JAMB policy has drastically reduced the ability of Colleges of Education to independently admit prospective students on its own. Mr Egesi is aware of this but for his usual duplicitous antics prefers to play the ostrich.
It is on record that contrary to insinuations by Mr Egesi, ASCETA in 2016 when Dr Nto assumed office was a jungle and without any infrastructure befitting of an institution of its class. Today, the story is different and many visitors to the College of late who can also attest to that. Currently, the under listed projects were initiated and completed by the administration of Dr Philips Nto:
1. School of Arts, Languages and Social Sciences Education Complex
2. School of Business Studies Education Complex
3. School of Vocational Education Complex
4. School of Education Complex
5. The College Library Complex
6. The College Auditorium
7. The GSE Complex
8. The School of Continuing Education Complex
9. The School of Science Education Complex.
10. Landscaping a section of the College and equipping a modern gym for students of the School of Science Education and of course the College community
There are other projects started and completed by the College under the watchful eyes of DR Philips Nto who was described by a former Commissioner of Education in the State, Dr KCK Nwangwa and a body of Special Advisers and Assistants who undertook a facility tour of the College in 2020 as Mr Project.