Prof. James Bassey Ejue’s Scorecard As Provost, Federal College Of Education, Obudu.

By Admin

Over the years, the Federal College of Education, Obudu has continued to pursue its core mandate. The mandate requires the College to produce highly trained teachers that would be committed to quality education, enhance the core values of the society and promote the socio-economic development of the nation.

Since inception in1982, the College has continued to produce graduates who are adequately prepared and are now contributing to the socio-economic and political development of the country. The College has remained on this path of growth through the commitment of her Governing Council, Management, Staff and Students who have always strived to sustain any recorded success that may have been achieved.

It has to be placed on record that the College was formally established in 1982. The founding father of the College, the very distinguished Senator, Dr. Joseph Wayas was the then Senate President and he caused the Federal Government of Nigeria to approve the establishment of this great institution Obudu local government area. With the institution on ground, the sleepy town of Obudu quickly turned around to become a cosmopolitan city and destination for harvesting intellectual and scholastic discourses.
Yearly, scores of acclaimed academics gather in the College for conferences, workshops and trainings. This has further enhanced the rating of the College as a foremost tertiary institution in the country.

While acknowledging the pioneering efforts of all past Provosts and administrators of the College, it must be pointed out that the current Provost, Prof. James Bassey Ejue, in spite of the debilitating challenges that he met on assumption, has turned around to become one of the greatest contributors to the development of the College.

The parameter for arriving at this conclusion was based on the prevailing situation of things when he arrived the College in 2016 at the peak of an economic recession in Nigeria and what the situation is today. Kindly join us to put some of these issues on the spotlight.

The issue of certification of graduates of the College had witnessed a lull from 2004. This was due to some bureaucratic bottle necks that were put in place at that time.

At the time Prof. Ejue assumed office, this situation had already started having some negative impacts on the psyche of both staff and students. In fact, public confidence had been lost. He immediately swung into action and virtually relocated to the National Commission for Colleges of Education, Abuja, where the necessary machineries were put in motion to facilitate the signing of the certificates by the Executive Secretary of the Commission. This singular effort led to the release of backlog of certificates from 2004 to 2013. This was however magical. Prompt release of students’ results is now a regular feature in the College.

Again, on assumption of Office, he profiled the staff and noted that though quite a few were ICT compliance, the level of appreciation by the generality of the staff was nonetheless very unsatisfactory. To stem this trend, the Provost quickly approached the Nigeria Communications Commission and requested that they train the staff of the College. It was on the strength of this request that the Commission engaged the Digital Bridge Institute to train the Staff of the College on Advanced Digital Appreciation Programme for Tertiary Institutions (ADAPTI).

This was followed up by a donation of 110 computer laptops by NCC in 2017. And like Oliver Twist, the Provost continued to ask for more. The College had subsequently received further donations of 110 laptops in 2019 from same NCC with more Staff trained.

At the time of the establishment of the degree programme in the College, only two, out of the thirteen programmes were fully accredited. The other eleven were given provisional accreditations. This was not good enough for the new Provost. He caused the National Universities Commission to dispatch her accreditation team to the College. Today, all the thirteen degree programmes of the College are fully accredited.

The NCE programmes were also faced with the same challenges because the last accreditation was 13 years ago. He equally replicated the same feat. The 29 NCE programmes are now fully accredited. Ancillary to the above was the issue of the first NYSC mobilization for the degree students which was generating some tension at that time. Within a twinkle, the issues were resolved and the pioneer graduates joined their counterparts across the country in the service of their fatherland. This is now a regular feature.

It was mind boggling that proper Land survey was never carried out on the College after about 35 years of existence. Reasoning that after some time, it might be difficult to delineate the boundaries of the College, the Provost initiated actions which finally led to the formal survey of the main campus of the College.

Lack of corporate governance was also a big issue in the affairs of the institution. In compliance with relevant laws therefore, the Provost established the procurement Unit. He articulated the revival and sustenance of the F.C.E. consult which has gradually started yielding desired results.

The Provost has established a centre for Linkages and Development to attract and coordinate donor support. Little wonder that Dr. Richard Price, an American academic and charity benefactor has offered to donate an ultra-modern lecture theatre to the College.

The morale of staff was at its lowest ebb when Prof. Ejue assumed office. Various arrears of entitlements were owed staff. This affected the attitude of the workers in the performance of their duties. Prof. Ejue swung into action using his contacts, he facilitated the release and payment of the staff 2016/2017 salary shortfalls. He equally facilitated the release and payment of 2013/2014 and 2015 promotion arrears. This is in addition to the payment of various honoraria and allowances owed staff.
These however boosted significantly, the morale of staff. Still the Provost never rested on his oars.

In the area of infrastructural development, despite the paucity of funds, the Chief Executive equally kept eye on the ball. He undertook the following: Renovation and furnishing of the pre-NCE Block; Renovation and furnishing of Demonstration Secondary School Block; Comprehensive renovation of NCB Extension Classroom Block and School of Languages Block; Construction of one-storey 4-classroom Block with offices; completion of abandoned Fine and Applied Arts complex and resumption of work on abandoned Theatre Arts complex; and the comprehensive renovation of School of Languages Block. The Medical Centre which had remained comatose has also been rejuvenated and made functional for the use of the entire College Community. Now the Medical Centre is registered with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The unbundling of TETfund projects, momentum of Project and infrastructural development even increased. These projects have greatly assisted to address the deficits in major areas of need. The award of contract for all the projects was holistic and it covers construction, equipment and furnishing. These projects include: Technical Education Workshop at the Bebi Campus; One storey Block for the School of Early Childcare and Primary Education; and another storey block for the School of Adult and Non-Formal Education.

Others are the 300 capacity Multipurpose Pavilion; Science Complex; a befitting School of General EducationComplex, a State-of-the-art gymnasium to replace the one that was destroyed by a devastating windstorm sometime: and a 250-capacity lecture theatre in Bebi campus.

Every area of need got the desired attention of the very hardworking Provost. The Chief Executive procured a brand new 14-seater bus and another set of three Toyota Hilux trucks to add to the available fleet.

To address the problem of unsatisfactory power supply, the Provost procured a 500KVA Generator as well as 10 other smaller ones. The administration also embarked on and completed the installation of Solar Street lights throughout the length and breadth of the College.

The human angle in all these was the construction of two blocks of 10 lavatories each in the main campus with borehole to reticulate water to the entire facility. This Project was indeed a priority project for obvious reasons.

The Chief Executive made a great impact in the area of sports development. Barely after hosting the NICEGA games in 2007, the facilities at the College Games Village were blown off by a devastating windstorm. The entire sports complex was affected by wear and tear. Looking at the austere state of the College, it was difficult to believe that the amiable Provost would think along the line of trying to rehabilitate the moribund facility. Interestingly however, he defied the odds and embarked on comprehensive rehabilitation of both the Spectator’s Pavilion as well as other facilities at the Games Village. It was no longer news that the 19th edition of the Nigeria Colleges of Education Games (NICEGA) tagged “Obudu 2019 was successfully hosted on this facility and it was adjudged as the best in the 40 years history of the games.

It must equally be reckoned that some intangible and sundry issues can even affect
the fortunes of every establishment. At the inception of Prof. Ejue’s Administration
the college had 29 Ph.D holders but presently the number has increased to 40, while 56 others are undergoing sponsored Ph.D Programmes and 38 undergoing Masters programmes both in Nigeria and abroad. The Provost equally ensured that attention is given to all areas in order to make sure that a conducive teaching and learning environment prevails in the College. For example, he inherited from his predecessors some issues of litigations against the institution. He drove the processes and facilitated the favourable resolution of those legal actions against the

In the same vein, payments have been made for the settlement of various inherited liabilities to both staff and contractors.

No tertiary institution can be worthy of its name without functional and efficient library services. It was with the above mindset that the Provost embarked on the upgrade of the College library. It became a matter of deliberate policy to continually stock the library with more current books and journals; more furniture; and the Provost was also able to put in place an ultramodern e-library infrastructure. Likewise, all the science laboratories in the College have been equally upgraded. Even the language laboratory is not left out, as rehabilitation of the facility has been completed. This is in addition to the provision of classroom and office furniture worth over N100m to address acute shortages.

All these efforts have resulted in the return of high academic standards and the dividends are beginning to flow. For instance, the College debate team was 1st runners up and 2nd runners up in 2018 and 2019, respectively in inter-tertiary institutions debate competition.

Also, the college Demonstration Primary School Pupils emerged over-all best in the spelling and current affairs competition in the South-South Organized by Brilliance and Excellence.

To cap it all, an alumnus of the College, Mr. Francis Agakwu was adjudged as the over-all best at the last passing out parade of the Cadets of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). For a long time; this will continue to be a reference point on the commitment of the College to the realization of her mandate in the area of quality education.

Worthy of mention at this point is the great contribution of Sir Emeka Oftor Foundation in the upgrade of the College Library. The foundation had earlier donated over 700 volumes of books in different areas of study to the College, and later followed-up again with more book donations.

These donations of standard and current books were meant to equip the library and upgrade it to a standard that can be rated with other similar higher institutions in the country. The other reason was the immediate need to assist the College in her preparation and arrangements for both the degree and NCE accreditations which the College was expecting at that time. The foundation must certainly share a part in the success of the accreditation programmes of the College because of its timely intervention of donation of relevant books at that critical time. This contribution was fundamental to the overall success of the exercise and it must continue to remain in the front burner in the annals of important records of the College.

That is why the College will always remain eternally grateful to the vibrant and very dynamic Honourable, Sir Anthony Obi who is the Chairman of the very Foundation. He was the one that facilitated the donation of those books. He never considered the fact that the 6th Governing Council of the College, to which he was appointed Chairman was yet to hold its inaugural meeting. The newly appointed Chairman did a personal appraisal and identified this crucial area of intervention and immediately took an action that was indeed very proactive and helped to resolve one of the most fundamental problems of the College at that time.

The 6th Governing Council itself must be described as selfless, cooperative, and indeed highly impactful in the affairs of the College. The Council comprises of very patriotic men and women that are less concerned with the heights they have individually attained in the society, but are rather determined to continue to work and make positive impacts through their services to our great College. Without the support of this great body, this litany of achievements by the Provost would have been difficult to realize. Although, the Honourable, Sir Anthony Obi led Governing Council has worked with very little motivation, the Council however must be commended for being very supportive of these giant and noble strides of the College Management.

It is worthy of note that due to some legal hurdles, the College could not access funds from TETFund for physical development. However, now that Prof. Ejue’s dexterity has led to the resolution of those challenges, very soon the College is going to witness massive infrastructural development. Staff and Students are upbeat and optimistic that the lost glory of the College is back. No doubt, more challenges exist in the system. However, it would be proper to give Prof. Ejue a pat on the back as he bowed out of the system.

The college will miss this purpose driven and seasoned administrator, but wish him the very best in his future endeavors.

Public Relation Unit
FCE Obudu
September, 2020


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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