Is this school accredited by the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE)?Yes, of course. When I started the school in the year 2000, it was known as the Nasarawa College of Administration and Business Study (NACABS). That time I had to look for an affiliation because the diploma programme was not accredited. So I sought for affiliation with Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic. When they came in, they were the ones that moderated the examination question papers and issued statement of results in affiliation with their own institution. When we were growing, the Nasarawa College of Administration and Business Studies was a mono-technic, so when we were going in for accreditation, we applied to NBTE and the NBTE advised us to go for a polytechnic, that was why we had to change the name from Nasarawa College of Administration and Business Studies to Nacabs Polytechnic. Nacabs is no longer the acronym of Nasarawa College of Administration and Business Studies. We applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission which approved it and we took it to NBTE, which is the body that approves all polytechnics in Nigeria. We applied in 2009, and in 2011 we got our accreditation.
How many programmes are you running in the school at the moment?The programmes that have been accredited are six.
The challenges of running a private institution have to do with finance. Do you get intervention or assistance from the government or any quota or are you using your resources to run the school?Truly speaking it is because God says I should start and that is why I had to do it. If it was because of funds, I wouldn’t have got here today because I started the institution with N750.
… (Cut in) did you say N750? Somebody would be wondering how?How? When the vision came and I applied to the state government and they approved for me to start, I wrote in a plain sheet and placed somewhere that Nasarawa College of Administration is running diploma in all the programmes and I listed the programmes, and I said the form is N75. I went to the computer to design the form but I did not print it out because I did not have the money. The computer was to print out for the form for me at the cost of N50 but even that N50 I didn’t have. So somebody saw the advert and said he was interested. He asked for the tuition fee and I told him it was N750 and he paid. That was the beginning and breakthrough. I went and printed out 10 copies of the form at N500, then I went and bought carbon papers and extended my advert to other places within the town and more students came. We extended the advert to radio. That was how we started. We don’t have any funds from any agency-be it NGOs, state or federal government. That is why we appeal to the federal government to include private institutions in TETFund and we also urge the state government to give us grant to augment what we are doing. If students don’t pay school fees, we find it difficult to operate. From the school fees we build infrastructure and everything. To get an accreditation is expensive. We paid for the accreditation fee from the school fees.
Do you get students from all parts of Nigeria?If I tell you something you will not believe it: 80 to 90 percent of my students are not from Nasarawa State. I think the number of students we have from Nasarawa State is even less than 5%. We have students from 34 states studying here. It is JAMB that gives admission. If you want more students, JAMB will give you more candidates. Don’t you think that there should be financial intervention in infrastructure in private polytechnics approved by the NBTE? Yes. We had a summit last year with the House of the Representatives and we have agreed that federal government should include private tertiary institutions in TETFund. We gave reasons why. We are not asking them for money but let them come and develop infrastructure. If they come and build a lecture hall for you that will help a lot because the money you would have used for that infrastructure will be used for something else. The regulatory bodies like NUC, NBTE and NCCE will not push that case for you. But the private institutions have been doing that. They said that sometimes we charge exorbitant fees but some of us argue that some government tertiary institutions charge higher than some private schools. The private schools are doing well, we don’t compromise standard. It has become a pride for us to do well. So we are pleading that they should not look at the fees we are charging but the quality of what we produce.
What sort of mechanism have you put in place to deal with cultism and other social vices?We don’t have the eyes to see them. It is a God’s school, except He exposes them, as He has been doing. We have expelled some cult members in this school, 18 students, last year.
Are you interested in partnership at this moment to raise the school’s financial base or you are developing other ways of getting more funds? We have to develop other ways. We are looking for partnership for the building of student hostels. We want somebody to build and maintain the structure and then release it to the school at the agreed time. That is the sort of partnership we are talking about.
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