The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) on Tuesday challenged the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to speak out on the controversy surrounding the newly created Ogun State Polytechnic, Ipokia.
They also urged the NBTE not to sanction “illegality” on the status of the polytechnic and clear the air on the accreditation of 43 programmes for the newly created polytechnic.
This is coming on the heels of the assertion of the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun during the groundbreaking ceremony of the new state-owned polytechnic that 42 academic programmes have been accredited for its take off in November.
The ASUP leadership, the government and Prof Peter Okebukola-led Transition Committee of Moshood Abiola University of Science and Technology (MAUSTECH) have been at loggerheads since the upgrading of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic into a university status over the future lecturers of both institutions.
The ASUP leadership disagreed with the governor over 43 programmes said to have been accredited for the Ogun Poly, saying those programmes belong to MAPOLY.
They said that several letters written by its local body to the NBTE till date has yet to be replied.
The ASUP National Vice President, Timothy Ogunseye and Southwest Zonal Coordinator, Olawale Omobaorun at a press conference at the MAPOLY campus, Ojere, Abeokuta, asked the NBTE to state clearly its position on the matter.
They lamented that the regulatory body has refused to talk on the true status of the polytechnic.
The National Vice President revealed that the union was not against the upgrading of the school and creation of new polytechnic, but there is no accreditation of courses, infrastructure and other amenities for proper take off of the new polytechnic.
Ogunseye added that “there is lack of consultation and discussion with ASUP on the future of its members.”
He also demand co-habitation between staffers of the new university and the polytechnic to guarantee effective take off the Ogun Poly.
According to him, the polytechnic’s hasty take off as planned by the government would only put over 700 academics staff and 18,000 students in untold hardship.
Ogunseye said: “We are calling on the regulatory authority, NBTE, they should not sanction illegality, they cannot come and accredit a programme in a place where there are no classrooms, buildings, workshops, and laboratories. If there is anything at all, the entire infrastructure here belongs to MAPOLY, if the government wants to have a change of name Ogun state polytechnic, there is no problem about that, but all this assets here belong to the polytechnic system.
He stated “Let the university take off on a clean state by government acquiring his own assets, they cannot retain the building and ask people to move to a place, I will call virgin land for now because there is no infrastructure in place.”
To Omobaorun, MAPOLY “is being killed” for a university “on the altar of politics”, describing the MAUSTECH as “Egba agenda” being championed by the Governor.
The ASUP Zonal Coordinator vowed that the union was poised to fight for the rights and welfare of its members not minding “any victimization and intimidation.”
He disclosed that the union would not hesitate to inform the Minister of Education and relevant bodies on the issue.
Omobaorun said: “Let the government of the day listen to the people; let them look into all the proposals put across through communique and letters. Let the government of the day invites this chapter for thorough discussion. Let the regulatory body, NBTE speak out. Have they accredited Ogun Poly? Unofficially, you know the union has its way of getting information and as far as everything is concerned, there is no Ogun Poly. But, we are annoyed, we are disappointed that the regulatory body has refused to talk. If they speak out that there is no accreditation covering for Ogun Poly, all of this will be put to rest but we all know Nigeria, all of this is politics”.
“They (Egba people) are saying they want a university but must you kill a 36 year old which is MAPOLY for day old? This is a chapter that has been self-financing since this government has been in office. If we want to count, about two three occasions, they have given the polytechnic 11 million but this same government has taken money from MAPOLY. It is quite obvious, it is not easy to fund education particularly university education.”