By Kennedy Eberechi.
Federal College of Education, Obudu, Cross River State (F.C.E. Obudu) has been described as a top-ranking college of education in Nigeria and indeed the nation’s pride. The college, which was established in 1983, has grown tremendously. The NCE Programme stretches its academic disciplines and research across seven (7) schools and twenty-nine (29) academic departments. The college runs both regular and sandwich NCE programme for students in various disciplines.
Few months to the expiration of the tenure of Professor James Bassey Ejue; the incumbent Provost of Federal College of Education, Obudu, Cross River State, the political atmosphere of the College is stirring. Calculations and permutations are changing at a fast pace. Various aspirants are on their feet aligning, re-aligning and oiling their political cum academic machines to be named Prof. James’ successor.
In the midst of these highly respected aspirants comes Dr. Richard Ugbaha Utubaku, whom experts have consensually adjudged to be the most suitable in terms of the most important 3 – head criteria: Experience, Education and Personality. At a time when the best brains are needed to improve the already strong dynamism and functionality in our education system, it has become necessary for this man’s credentials to be laid bare.
From a humble background, Dr. Richard, who hails from Bebuabie in Obudu Local Government Area of Cross River State is a renowned academician, administrator and a strategist who is highly respected in the academic world for his leadership foresight, firm thinking and elder statesman status.
Since joining the academic world, he has steadily progressed through the ranks to his present rank as Chief Lecturer. Down the lane in his career, he was the Head of Department, Pre-NCE from 2002- 2004. He was later appointed Acting Director, Pre NCE from 2004 – 2006 and subsequently, Head of Department, Mathematics from 2007 to 2011. Later Dr. Richard became Director, Pre-NCE from 2016-2017, and then Dean, School of Secondary Education, Science Programmes from 2017 to 2019.
Some historic positions held by Dr. Richard include Chairman, Social/Welfare Committee, School of Sciences, FCE, Obudu; Vice Chairman, COEASU, FCE, Obudu-Chapter; Executive Secretary, Bekpam Development Association, Obudu; Patron, National Federation of Catholic Students, FCE, Obudu; Chairman; CRISSA Thrift Scheme; Chairman, Staff/Students Disciplinary Committee; Organizing Chairman, South – South Zonal Mathematical Competition.
Also, Chairman, Sub-committee in project Defense in Degree programme; Chairman, Committee of Deans, FCE, Obudu, Chairman, Staff Disciplinary Committee, FCE, Obudu; Chairman, Security Committee 19th NICEGA (Nigerian Colleges of Education Games), Obudu; Chairman, Students’ Union Government Electoral Committee; Chairman, 2018 NCE Accreditation Sub – Committee on schools/Departmental/Academic needs; Chairman, (Team A) Project Defense in Degree Programme.
Very assiduous, focused and result oriented, Dr. Richard has over the years demonstrated his academic acumen and leadership within and outside the state. His activities in community service are inspiring. He was a Member, Teaching Practice Committee; Member, Admissions Committee; Member, Academic Prizes and Awards Committee; Member, Staff Welfare and Development Committee; Member/Financial Secretary, Ultimate Foundation Social Club Obudu.
Others include: Member, Conference Committee, School Sciences, FCE, Obudu; Member, Degree Awarding Committee, FCE, Obudu; Redeployment to Lecture in the College Degree programme Unit; Degree Coordinator, Education/ Mathematics.
More so, he was a Member, Investigation committee on Threat to Life of Dr Michael Akpe; Member, Degree Accreditation Committee; Member, Investigation Committee on Threat to Life and Defamation of character of COEASU Executives; Instructional/Tutorial Facilitator and Project Supervisor, National Open University of Nigeria, Ikom Community Study Center.
Additionally, he was a Member, NCCE Investigation Panel on the Petition of Aniah Joseph of F.C. E Obudu constituted by Executive Secretary, Abuja, Deputy Zonal Coordinator South-South for Primary and Secondary Schools Category of Arena for Contest in Science, Technology and Mathematics in Nigeria (ACSTM).
A hardworking, innovative and strong team player, Richard’s success could be pinned down to good education and hard work. He had his primary and secondary education in Obudu, Cross River State. Subsequently, he proceeded to the Federal College of Education, Obudu where he obtained a National Certificate in Education (NCE). He further studied Maths/Education at Degree and Masters Level at the University of Calabar. To cap it all, he has a Doctorate Degree (Ph.D.) in Maths/Education from the University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
To his credit, Dr. Richard has written 22 Conference/Seminar Papers, 28 Journal Articles, 30 Book Chapters and 3 Text books. Furthermore, he is a member several professional bodies including Science Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (STAN), Mathematical Association of Nigeria (MAN), Curriculum Organization of Nigeria (CON), Association for Promoting Quality Education in Nigeria (APQEN), International Research and Development Network (IRDN), and National Association for Promoting Educational Innovations (NAPEIN), just to mention but a few.
Taking cognizance of the need for relaxation, Richard Ugbaha Utubaku squeezes out time from his busy schedules to engage in Football and Music. He is happily married with five children.
At 54, he has seen it all and given his achievements; is Dr. Richard Utubaku good enough to improving the dynamism and functionality in the Federal College of Education, Obudu for a better human development and the advancement of societies at large? your guess is as good as mine!
- Kennedy Eberechi is a Publicist; he heads Ken-Gbados Concepts Limited, and writes from Abuja, Nigeria. (07064715591, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Kennedy Eberechi and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite. The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”