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ASUP rejects new governing councils

by John Ojewale
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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, like its counterpart the Academic Staff Union of Universities, rejected the newly formed governing councils of the country’s federally owned polytechnics on Monday.

In a statement issued by its President, Shammah Kpanja, ASUP voiced “dismay” at the new list of appointments, which it described as having “no knowledge of the polytechnic system.”

Recall that 11 months after the government of President Bola Tinubu disbanded the governing councils of the Federal Government-owned universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, it revealed a list of newly appointed members of councils.

The list was released on Saturday in a statement signed by Didi Walson-Jack, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education.

The statement stated that the National Universities Commission offices in Abuja will host the inauguration and retreat for the newly elected members of the governing council on May 30 and May 31.

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the president of ASUU, responded by saying that the federal government was supposed to restore the “illegally” disbanded governing councils rather than create new ones.

ASUP expressed its disappointment in a statement released by Kpanja, rejecting the appointments to the polytechnics as well.

“Having carefully studied the released list of new members, we want to express our dissatisfaction and disappointment with the composition of the polytechnics council.

“Our union has been demanding that persons with the requisite knowledge of the workings of the sector be appointed.

“Such persons in the category of former rectors and other principal officers from the sector, former chief executives and staff of the regulatory body, retired and serving chief lecturers and other staff from the sector, who have displayed adequate knowledge of the workings of the sector abound in sufficient numbers.

“The current composition falls significantly short of the above as no such person(s) in the categories listed was appointed.

“This is a great disservice to the polytechnics and is also different from the experience in the two other sub-sectors that make up the tertiary education sector,” ASUP said.

The union observed that, notwithstanding the oddity of not finding any for the polytechnics, it was evident that former executive secretaries of regulatory organisations were appointed in the other subsectors.

According to the union:

“Former principal officers and retired and serving staff were appointed but none was found appointable for the polytechnics, despite the retinue of former rectors, chief lecturers and other principal officers prevalent in Nigeria’s polytechnic system.

“Our union views this unwholesome trend as an extension of the age-long discrimination against polytechnics in the country and an attempt to push the sector into crisis.

“The list for polytechnics as released cannot improve the lot of the polytechnics but rather turn them to playgrounds for businessmen.”

ASUP urged that the list be revised prior to the inauguration to include individuals with the necessary knowledge of how polytechnics operate.

It stated that reviewing the list will prevent the sector from experiencing a “crisis associated with poor governance, which is likely to prevail if the list is not reviewed accordingly.”


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cc: Punch Ng

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