The Benue State Polytechnic was originally established by the Edict No. 13 of August 1976 by the military administration of Col. Abdulahi Shelleng. Invariably, it was established, barely a year after Benue State was created. As a young and enterprising state, there was the need to train the needed man-power for the socio-economic and technological take-off of this "young state". The maiden name of the Institution was "Murtala College of Arts, Science and Technology". It was initially situated in Makurdi.
It started off in February, 1977 with an admission of 250 students who were mainly for preparatory courses for entry into the universities. The actual courses leading to the award of Ordinary and Higher National Diplomas began in the 1977/1978 academic year with 143 students reading in the only three Departments offering Agriculture, Fine & Applied Arts, Accountancy, Business Administration, Executive Secretaryship and Marketing.
The polytechnic later improved and modified the curricula and increased the number of Academic Departments. For instance, the Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering (all of which were under the Engineering Department); and Catering and Hotel Management, all started in the 1978/1979 session. Later in the 1980/1981 session, the Engineering Department broke off into three separate Departments: Civil, Electrical/Electronics and the Mechanical Engineering Deoartments respectively. The Certificate Course in Catering & Hotel Management was also started in the 1980/1981 session. During the same period, the Department of Agriculture found new relevance in a purely agriculture institution and was, consequently, transfered to the Akperan Orshi College of Agriculture, Yandev.
Under the Aper Aku-led Civilian Administration, the Edict No. 13 of August 1st, 1976, which established the institution under the name, "Murtala College of Arts, Science and Technology", was amended. Thus, the amended law which was assented to on the 3rd October, 1983 caused the institution to adopt a new nomenclature: "Benue State Polytechnic".
The now, Benue State Polytechnic, commenced courses leading to the Higher Certificate in Catering & Hotel Management, Diploma in Local Government, and Diploma in Law, in the 1983/1984 session. In the 1985/1986 session, the Department of Continuing & Vocational Education was started, offering Courses leading to the award of Certificate in Executive Grade (Accounts & Audit) and subsequently, the Assistant Stores Officers' Course was introduced in the 1987/1988 session. Between 1995 and 1997, the following Departments were introduced: Public Administration, Local Government & Community Development, Printing Technology, and Land Surveying. In addition to the above full-time courses, the institution runs part-time courses in various disciplines, usually on Fridays and Saturdays.
In 1981, the polytechnic was re-located to Ugbokolo following directive to transfer the then School of Basic Studies, from Ugbokolo to Makurdi. Between 1981 and 1988, the institution had to operate on two campuses: one at Makurdi and the other at Ugbokolo. While all courses in Science, Technology and Engineering were run at the Makurdi campus, courses in the Arts, Business Administration and Management Studies, Legal Studies, Catering and Hotel Management were offered at the Ugbokolo Campus. The polytechnic is now fully at Ugbokolo following the movement of the Departments that were left behind.
The polytechnic academic programmes now operate in seven schools: School of Technology, School of Engineering, School of Environmental Studies, School of Business and Management Studies, School of Administrative and Vocational Studies, School of Art, Design & Printing and School of General and Preliminary Studies. The Benue State Polytechnic has supportive units such as the Bursary, Clinic, Estate, Library, Rectory, Registry and Division of Continuing Education. The institution has a consultancy unit, BENPOCON Nigeia Limited, which offers consultancy and research services for and on behalf of client organizations. It houses "the Division of Continuing Education", running the following courses on part-time basis: Business & Management Studies, Accounting, Marketing, Personnel Management, Public Accounts & Auditing, Public Administration, Banking & Finance, Law, Catering, etc.
The rapid increase from a humble figure of 393 students to over 5,000 students now, attests to the expansion in academic programmes to cope with national and state objectives. The academic staff strength has also risen above 200 following recruitment of scholarly persons to man academic tasks. Most of the academic programmes have received accreditation statuses from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE). The non-NBTE courses have also received professional recognition by the relevant bodies. In spite of all odds, the polytechnic has, over the years, even forged ahead, with long strides, with her academic programmes. Even now, the polytechnic realizes that it yet has "more land to conquer" in her effort at producing the manpower needed for "Excellence and Relevance" in the scheme of things within Benue State in particular, and Nigeria in general.