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ASUP rejects new governing councils

21st May 2024

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, like its counterparts Academic Staff Union of Universities, on Monday, rejected the newly constituted governing councils of Federal Government-owned polytechnics in the country.

In a statement signed by its President, Shammah Kpanja, ASUP expressed “dismay” at the new list of appointees, whom it tagged as individuals with “no knowledge of the polytechnic system.”

A reports from punch was made that 11 months after the administration of President Bola Tinubu dissolved the governing councils of the Federal Government-owned universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, it unveiled a list of newly appointed members of councils.

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

According to the statement, the inauguration and retreat for the new governing council members would be held on May 30 and May 31 at the headquarters of the National Universities Commission in Abuja.

Reacting, the ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said the Federal Government was expected to reinstate the “illegally” dissolved governing councils and not to constitute new ones.

Also rejecting the appointees to the polytechnics, ASUP, in a statement by Kpanja, said it was disappointed.

“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.”

The union noted that it was witness to the fact that former executive secretaries of regulatory bodies were appointed in the other subsectors, but none was curiously found for the polytechnics.

“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 demanded that the list be reviewed before the inauguration to include the class of persons with requisite knowledge of the workings of polytechnics.

It noted that a review of the list would save the sector from a “crisis associated with poor governance, which is likely to prevail if the list is not reviewed accordingly.”


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