Biekoroma Amapakabo: First South South female registrar at Yabatech bows out with honour
As you have finally bowed out as Registrar of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos after eight years of meritorious service, it gladdens my heart, not because you are leaving the office as Registrar, but because of your numerous achievements in the Registry and leaving indelible mark on the sands of time.
Therefore, I am convinced to use the words of a renowned Presbyterian Clergyman in England, Lyman Beecher (1831-1863), who wrote in the newspaper The Spirit of the Pilgrims: “I was made for action, the Lord drove me, but I was ready. I have always been going at full speed, harnessed to the chariot of Christ, whose wheels of fire have rolled onward, high and dreadful to his foes and glorious to his friends.’’
Corroborating this aphorism was our ancestral wisdom, which tells us that our strong arm of life depends on what we believe the Giver of life can do, seeing the future with spiritual eyes, and then take charge. This was the direction Ms. Biekoroma Charity Amapakabo took while still in office. Her passion in life has always been to leave behind legacies that will last forever, thereby contributing her quota to national development and growth.
A woman who has proven the words of former Colonial Master strategist Harold Smith right when he gave a revelation about Southerners, that in their assessment of regions in Nigeria before independence, it was discovered in the South that, ‘’we found strength, intelligence, determination to succeed, well-established history, complex but focused lifestyle, great hope and aspirations’’.
It is, therefore, no doubt that the above- mentioned qualities are the focal drive of Amapakabo, which has taken her to the peak of her career.
Also, her industriousness, resilience and a high sense of responsibility with faith have contributed majorly to her achievements as Registrar. Ms Amapakabo became the second female Registrar and the first Registrar, from the South-South zone, since the establishment of Yabatech in 1947 and has remained one of the most innovative and distinguished Registrars since inception. For instance, on her assumption as Registrar in 2007, she met a demoralised staff in the Registry who were blamed for almost everything in the College; lacked working tools and conducive environment for work, delayed promotion, upgrading of management staff, and accommodation.
In less than a decade on the post, Amapakabo participated in the policy making and implementation of the College vision. Ms Amapakabo in her blunt and principle manner ensured justice, fairness and synergy in all her dealings, leaving a Registry that is now cohesive, commands respect and engendered a good relationship with other departments and service units- a workforce that is motivated, professional reward cum staff training and retraining.
She left a system where industriousness has become the watchword for promotion- a pride to all. Operated an open door policy where all senior and junior staf were given the privileges to consult on issues affecting their employment status. No wonder the College Council Chairman, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) described her as ‘’a woman of integrity who has remained resolute and maintained her veracity.’’
It would be recalled that she initiated human capacity development programmes to ensure a professionalised human resource in service delivery in the Registry such as workshops, seminars, retreat and interactive sessions; conferences; established a well-equipped and effective verification unit in the Admissions Department now called Students Record Department. The former Registrar also initiated the digitalisation of Students Records and Staff records- in- compliance.
She ensured improved delivery of students’ service in the areas of registration, welfare, academic record management, improved timely release of statement of results, transcripts and certificates and introduced the production of certificates with calligraphic machine and the first Polytechnic to issue transcript online.
Many may not know that she was a comrade who championed the struggle for the distinct identity of Polytechnics in Nigeria. She was the leader of the Polytechnic Sectoral Executive Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Allied Institute (SSAUTHURIAI), whose effort brought about the formation of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) in year 2000 and later became the Pioneer National President of the Association.
Her strong will and desire is based on an utmost faith and confidence in the Almighty Creator. She has demonstrated selflessness in a call to service which also gave her recognition and privileges such as participation in several local and international workshops and conferences in Nigeria, Malaysia, Lesotho, Israel, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
In recognition of her numerous achievements, she received awards, amongst which are; Excellence Award for Meritorious and Distinguished Service to Yabatech,1998; Pacesetter Award in recognition of her Philanthropic support to educational development and service to humanity by the West African Polytechnic Students Association, 2002; Distinguished Member’s award for commitment to growth of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, (SSANIP), 2008, Yabatech chapter; Merit award for pioneering role as founding president of (SSANIP) in 2010 by the National Executive of the Association, among others.
As a lover of knowledge, and knowing the importance of the girl-child education, she became more enthusiastic about her academics and finally got admission into the prestigious University of Lagos in 1980 and graduated in 1983 with an Honours degree in English. She later obtained in same University Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA), 1987. In her further thirst for knowledge she got another Master’s degree in Communication and Language Arts (MCA) from the University of Ibadan.
Others are the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) (1992) and the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Topo – Badagry, Lagos State. She also attended National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies NIPSS, Kuru-Jos, Plateau State (2015) and another degree in LL.B from the National Open University of Nigeria in January 2017.
Ms. B.C Amapakabo is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management, Chartered (FNIM), Fellow, Institute of Corporate Administrators (FICA), Fellow, Institute of Certified Public Administrators of England and Wales, (FICPA) Associate Member, Chartered Institute Personnel Management (ACIPM), Associate Member, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (ANIPR) and Associate Member, Nigeria Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (ACArb).
Finally, St. Paul tells in Timothy2 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Yes, Ms Amapakabo has won a victory for herself and her generations to come.
Mark Columbus Orgu, is the Editor-in-chief, Afrikanwatch, Lagos.
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