The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, (ASUP) has frowned at the appointment of allegedly unqualified rectors for five out of the six newly established Federal Polytechnics in the country. According to ASUP, the appointment of the unqualified rectors was against the Polytechnic Act of 2019.
National President of the union, Anderson Ezeibe, knocked the federal government on the controversial appointments at the 100th National Executive Council, (NEC) meeting of the union held at the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State on Wednesday. Ezeibe, who said the union is already seeking legal redress on the contentious appointments, noted that to be qualified for rectorship position, such a person must be a Chief Lecturer with at least a minimum of five years in any of the polytechnics.
According to him, “Recently, the Federal Government announced into existence six new Federal polytechnics – one each in Cross River State, Oyo, Plateau, Benue and Borno States. (The sixth is in Enugu State)
“And in the Federal Polytechnics Amendment Act 2019, the qualification to the appointment of a rector in any of the polytechnics in Nigeria, such a person shall be a Chief Lecturer and must have not less than five years experience in any Nigerian polytechnic.
“Unfortunately, five out of the six rectors that were appointed into these newly established polytechnics are neither chief lecturers, nor are they from any of these polytechnics in Nigeria. What it means is that they have fallen short of the qualifications required to be in that office. The union is already in court with the Federal Government on the matter… And we have gotten an order of court to serve them by substituted means; and of course, to join these five persons appointed as rectors into these polytechnics”.
Ezeibe appealed to the Edo State Government to pay five months salary arrears owed the workers of Edo State Polytechnic, Usen.
The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philips Shaibu, who was represented by his deputy chief of Staff, Jimoh Ijegbai, said that the government was aware of the lingering labour issues at the state-owned polytechnic. He said adequate steps were being taken to address it.
Shaibu, who assured that “That issue still lingering at Edo State Polytechnic, Usen will soon be a thing of the past,” thanked the Union for its cooperation and patience with government in finding lasting solutions to challenges in Polytechnic education in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Rector of the host polytechnic, Mustapha Zubair, lamented the poor rating of Polytechnics in Nigeria, asserting that the Polytechnic Act has specific criteria for Polytechnics, which the managers in the sector strive to accomplish. He urged the Union to choose dialogue in pursuing their agitation, noting, however, that the just-concluded strike by the Union yielded positive result following the release of N15 billion for the development of Polytechnics in Nigeria.
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