Ahead of the selection exercise to appoint a new rector for the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, workers of the 43 years old institution have advised those saddled with the interview of the candidates to strictly adhere to the advertised requirements.
In a letter to the Special Adviser on Education to the Governor, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the workers commended Governor Babajide Sanwu-Olu and the SAE for their support to ensure peace returned to LASPOTECH.
The three-page letter dated May 11, 2020 and was signed by the chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), Mr. Oluseye Ero-Phillips, treasurer, Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Mr. Ahmed Ajasa and representative of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Mr. Olugbenga Salami.
At the close of submission of application for the position, 25 candidates met the deadline. Out of this number, eight are LASPOTECH chief lecturers while 17 are external candidates.
The workers made a passionate appeal to the SAE to involve the staff unions and students in the selection process for the appointment of the 9th rector so that the new helmsman will enjoy the acceptability of the stakeholders.
The staff unions who relied on the 15th condition necessary for the appointment of a new rector, said they aligned with the state government desire to give LASPOTECH an acceptable rector that will command the loyalty and respect of stakeholders of the institution.
“ We are hinging our involvement in the appointment process, not only because we are a stakeholder that is suffering and may continue to suffer from bad governance but also relying on the 15th condition stated in the vacancy advertisement that a prospective rector of the polytechnic must meet.
The condition states: “Candidates must be able to command the respect and loyalty of the majority of members of staff and students of the institution.
“We also seek to be involved because there is the utmost need to prevent the re-emergence of the prevailing travail in the next dispensation which may be brought about by appointing a wrong and unacceptable person to manage the polytechnic affairs in the next five years.’’
The staff unions said they are privy to the fact that some of the shortlisted applicants for the position of rector are part of the outgoing administration.
“It will be suicidal to give these Sogunro’s compatriots any iota of consideration on their applications. The unions do not expect them to scale the first hurdle in the process. Any mistake of appointing any one of them will bring final doom on the polytechnic.
“We are also aware that some of the applicants are not from the polytechnic sector. These set of applicants are not to be given consideration because the vacancy advertisement specifically require applications from those in the polytechnic sector,” the workers stressed.
According to them: “We consider it appropriate that the rules of the game is adhered to. Also, bringing a rector from outside the polytechnic sector limits the career advancement of eligible academics in the polytechnic.’’
Without being specific, the workers attached the profile of the four internal candidates based on their assessment and investigations. The unions further stated that they did not do same for the external applicants because they are not part of the system thus the panel to interview them may not know some facts that will reveal their managerial incompetency.
The workers argued that it will not be out of place if the final three candidates selected after the interview are subjected to a further rating by the staff and students which will help the governor to pick the best among them, adding ‘’we know that this is a ‘tall request’ and that no amount of efforts is too much to sacrifice for peace.
The unions contended that it will be a great service to the educational sector of the state if the SAE use his good office to ensure that the appointment of heads of tertiary institutions involves the consideration of stakeholders’ such that the appointed heads will enjoy acceptability of majority stakeholders.
‘’These will go a long way in limiting the persistence crises bedevilling our tertiary institutions. It is of public knowledge that virtually all the tertiary institutions in the state are in various forms of crises and some of which arise from bad governance. Towards this end, we sincerely recommend that a clause stating the acceptability of the head to be appointed should be included in the laws establishing our tertiary institutions.’’
The workers affirmed that the outgoing rector would not have been rector if stakeholders in the polytechnic were involved in the selection process, adding ‘’this is the reason for the unions, as stakeholders are lending our voice in the current appointment of the next rector of LASPOTECH.’’
‘’If such condition were in place in the past and adhered to, a candidate who was twice rejected by the congregation in his quest to be elected to the governing council would not have found himself at the helms of affairs of LASPOTECH’’, the workers observed.
They equally advised the SAE to use his good office to ensure the governor constitute a Governing Council made up of reputable and respectable individuals who are oriented towards the development of the polytechnic, adding ‘’we want men and women who have the wherewithal to put the management under effective control. A goal-oriented governing council will checkmate maladministration.’’