Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi and Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) all have several things in common among which is the non-appointment of new rectors for the institutions.
The most outstanding issue the three federal polytechnics have in common is that they are waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint substantive rectors after the conclusion of the selection.
The delayed approval of new helmsmen for the three institutions is now generating ripples among staff and students. They are asking what may have stalled the approval after the Governing Councils and Minister of Education had made recommendations.
Investigations in the three campuses revealed that the delay is generating tension among staff and students. In some cases, it has slowed down the running of the administration as the acting rectors have limited powers to approve certain things or take decision on policy issues.
According to investigations, the case of 54-year-old Auchi Polytechnic is worrisome because the selection was conducted in November 2017 after the first exercise was jettisoned by the federal government.
After the second exercise, names of the first three applicants were submitted to the Minister of Education. Some of the staff who participated and those not shortlisted petitioned government alleging irregularities in the process.
Public Relations Officer of Auchi Polytechnic, Mr. Monday Oshobugie, said the governing council after the selection made recommendation to appropriate authorities and the institution is waiting for the approving authority to do the needful.
The image maker denied the insinuations that the acting rector was working to stall the appointment of a new rector. He said: “it is not true that the acting rector is blocking the appointment. The allegation against him is not correct and he is not responsible for the delay.”
Oshobugie disclosed that the acting rector had after the selection remained focused in discharging his duty and ensuring the institution academic calendar is stable while await the president’s approval.
The governing council of the 41 year-old institution conducted the interview for a new rector around October 2017 and made recommendation to Minister of Education for transmission to the president.
The non-approval is now a matter of serious concern. When the tenure of the former rector, Dr. Taiwo Akande ended on Monday, December 18, the governing council was forced to appoint an acting rector.
Fedpoly Ado case is not different from Auchi Poly, as the selections were trailed by series of petitions. A senior management staff told The Education Report that government has requested the council to forward additional names.
In his reaction, the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Adeyemi Adejolu, explained that staff and students are waiting for presidential approval for a new helmsman for the polytechnic.
Adejolu confirmed that the governing council after the selection interview sent names of the first three applicants to the education minister. He denied knowledge of any petitions and government demand for new names from the list of applicants interviewed.
The case of Yabatech rector position is one in which attempts were made by some staff including out gone management to down play merit and promote mediocrity. The Education Report investigation revealed that some college management is pushing for the appointment of a deputy rector who placed third and scored 59.8 per cent in the selection interview.
In the interview for new rector, one of the applicants from School of Engineering and former chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) came first with 89.7 per cent while the second position went to a Chief Lecturer in Department of Urban and Regional Planning with 76.5 per cent and current deputy rector from Department of Mass Communication came a distance third with 59.8 per cent.
Like the two other institutions, the Lateef Fagbami-led governing council submitted names of the first three applicants to education minister. Petitions flooded the office of the minister and he summoned the council chairman to defend the allegations.
The Education Report gathered that the minister forwarded the result to the president and recommended the first candidate for appointment. Sponsored petitions were again sent to the presidency and another round of investigation was conducted.
In an attempt to ensure their preferred candidate, the deputy rector, get the nod, a former rector of the 70-year-old college lobbied prominent emirs, governors and top government officials. The acting rector was appointed to act for one month, a tenure that was later extended because the college was awaiting approval from Buhari.
The Proprietor of Best Brain Academy, Ota, Chief Muyiwa Akinlade and a Lagos based lawyer, Olawale Odulaja, attributed the delay in the appointment of rectors for the three institutions to internal politics. Both tasked President Buhari to adhere strictly to merit when taking the decision.
The president, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Mr. Dutse Usman had made a passionate appeal to President Buhari to appoint a new Yabatech chief executive based on merit. He disclosed that polytechnic system needs best brain to run its affairs, thus appointment of rector should be purely on merit.