The three labour unions at The Polytechnic, Ibadan in Oyo State have united in the struggle towards ensuring that the next Rector is picked from the institution.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the tenure of the current Rector, Prof. Kazeem Adebiyi, will end in March.
The Chairman of the institution’s branch of Non-Academic Staff Union, Somori Kareem, said that the three unions were on the same page regarding the appointment of the next rector.
NAN is reporting that the union involved in the struggle are NASU, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics.
Kareem said the emergence of the next rector from an internal person had been the agitation of the unions, adding that they were working toward it.
The NASU chairman said that their agitation was in line with the guidelines of the National Board for Technical Education.
To the SSANIP Chairman, Biodun Abegunde, the NBTE guidelines should be followed in the appointment of not just the Rector, but also other principal officers of the polytechnic.
According to him, other polytechnics that are not as old as the institution have adopted the guidelines, which have aided the smooth running of those institutions.
Abegunde said that the unions had met with the school’s Governing Council, which is saddled with the responsibility of appointing the rector.
He said: “NBTE guidelines state that only the people within the system should be allowed to be rectors in a polytechnic system.
“We have made our stand known that when the tenure of the incumbent expires, the next rector must be within the polytechnic system, preferably The Polytechnic, Ibadan.
“This has also been made known to the governor.
“We are pleading with Governor Seyi Makinde to grant our request as other polytechnics have complied with the NBTE guidelines.”
Abegunde decried the imposition of an external person to run the affairs of the institution, adding that there were capable people within the system who could be appointed to such position.
“We have many qualified people who, by every standard, measure up to the quality and have the requisite qualifications as stated by NBTE,” he said.
According to him, several people from the institution had, at one time or the other, been appointed into key positions in other institutions.
He also stated that it would take more time for an outsider to understudy the system before getting anything done, unlike somebody who has been in the system all along.
Also speaking at a news conference recently, the institution’s ASUP Chairman, Dr. Kola Lawal, highlighted reasons behind the need to restrain professors from being appointed as polytechnic rectors.
Lawal noted that the institution had, in the last 25 years, experienced some challenges, owing to the appointment of professors as head of the institution.
He said that professors might find it difficult to understand the workings of the polytechnic system, unlike chief lecturers who had been in the system for several years.
According to him, the practice of appointing a reader or professor from the university not only contradicts NBTE guidelines, but also disrupts the efficient functioning of the system.
He said: “In accordance with the NBTE guidelines, only chief lecturers currently working within the polytechnic sector are eligible to lead polytechnics as rectors.
“Fortunately, The Polytechnic, Ibadan can boast of several highly qualified chief lecturers and PhD holders within its ranks.
“These individuals have dedicated their careers to the polytechnic system and possess a profound understanding of its unique dynamics.”
Lawal stated that appointing a rector from among the chief lecturers would not only align with regulatory requirements but also contribute to the stability, growth and sustained excellence of the institution.
“Such an appointment will also reflect a commitment to nurturing and promoting talents within the polytechnic sector,” he said.