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SUCCESS IS NOT CHEAP – DR. KALAGBOR, RECTOR PORT HARCOURT POLYTECHNIC

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Dr. Kalagbor, Rector Port Harcourt Polytechnic

Naijavoxpop was privileged to interview the pioneer Rector of Port Harcourt Polytechnic, Dr. Kalagbor. We had a very fruitful and enlightening discussion. Here are excerpts of the interview.

We are pleased to meet with you sir…  give us a brief background of yourself:

“My name is Dr. Barr Sam Kalagbor, Rector Port Harcourt Polytechnic Rumuola, Rivers state. I have a B. SC in political and administrative studies from  the University of Port Harcourt.  After then, I proceeded for a post graduate, diploma , Masters and PHD in same discipline. I have an LLB in law and thereafter was called to Bar as a legal practitioner after completing my studies at the Nigerian Law School. I have several other fellowships and awards from different reputable institutions”.

Congratulations Sir on your 50th birthday, how has life been so far? 

“I give glory to God, it’s been one of mixed feelings, full of ups and downs, but I am grateful to God for where I am today”.

Naijavoxpop :Sir, what does Entrepreneurship education and leadership skills mean to you?

“That appears to be a two in one question. Entrepreneurship education is the ability to provide a conducive environment that will enable individuals to acquire relevant skills, experience and expertise to be able to be creative and innovative in life generally . 

On the other hand, leadership is a collective enterprise and the ability to influence a person or a group of persons to be able to achieve a common goal. It requires competence, capacity and political will to ensure objectives are done according to specifications.

Why does an average undergraduate wait till they graduate or unforeseen life circumstances, financial tussle sets in before they cultivate the habit of earning entrepreneurship skills?

“I sincerely think that was in the past. Now particularly at tertiary level ,entrepreneurship education is now an essential part of the curriculum with particular reference to Portharcourt Polytechnic. We have introduced entrepreneurship as part of our curriculum. We have the theoretical and practical aspect, we bring experts from various areas like tailoring, fish farming, computer etc to be able to expose our students to acquire relevant skills that will enable them live a life of independence. Some of them have not been able to realise, understand or discover the potentials which they have the skills for, so exposing them to entrepreneurship education is another opportunity to make them not only as job creators, but to be able to employ others. They do not necessarily need their certificate to survive even though it is an added advantage. In what we call citizenship education as part of our curriculum, there are areas that are devoted to leadership. It is important that we make students understand the essence, dynamics and complexities of leadership so on their own, they can understand the basic ingredients of leadership and apply them knowing that the youths are seen as “leaders of tommorow “.So the earlier they imbibe good leadership qualities and put them into practice, the better it is for our society and democracy in Nigeria”.

Entrepreneurship and leadership Skills : Why are many youths not interested in setting up their own businesses?

“The basic fact is that many young people do not believe in themselves, they do not see their potentials. Even when they see their potentials, the ability to believe in themselves to start small and grow is not there. There is need for value and attitudinal reorientation. Lots of youths have this”Make it quick “mentality. Some of them are not patient enough to sit down and grow a business or skill and then consolidate on that skill subsequently. I believe there is need for massive reorientation, sustained enlightment and education for the youths not only to believe in themselves but also to apply themselves to the areas where their skills and talents can be properly harnessed”.
Naijavoxpop :As Rector of a huge educational institution like Port Harcourt Polytechnic, what is the government and institution putting in place to either initiate or harness entrepreneurship skill amongst students and youths in general…
“For us as an institution, we use the Directorate of the Student Union Government to organise lectures, seminars and symposium where we expose our students to practical importance and principles of leadership. We also partner with some National Youth Service Corps Members who are posted to our institution to organise entrepreneurial and leadership seminars for our students”.
Naijavoxpop :What’s your advice to an average Nigeria youth and graduate who is either financially dependent or keep making excuse for being Unemployed /jobless?
“First and foremost they must believe in themselves and their ability to make it. Secondly, they should live a purpose driven life. success is not a function of geographical location. Nigeria is fertile for success only if the youths will realise what they want and work towards it. There is need to apply and sustain hard work in their quest to attain success. Success is not cheap”.

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