By Ayo Ajayi
The Rector, Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe has solicited the support of other Rectors towards the intention of the College to host the next edition of West Africa Polytechnic Games (WAPOGA) this year.
In his welcome address during the 141st Regular Meeting of Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology in Nigeria (COHEADS) hosted by Yabatech, Omokungbe said it was a great honour and privilege for him to host his colleagues from sister institutions across the country, and wished them a pleasant stay in the cradle of higher learning in Nigeria.
He stressed that there is the need for synergy and cooperation within the institutions towards improving Polytechnic education in Nigeria, and the College immense contributions to technological advancement and human capital development over the years cannot be underestimated.
The Chairman of COHEADS, who is also the Rector of Kwara State Polytechnic, Alhaji Mas’ud Elelu disclosed that the essence of the meeting was to critically examine issues militating against technological institutions in Nigeria while assuring the commitment of COHEADS towards quality education and technological advancement in the country.
Elelu noted that disparity between Polytechnic and University graduates should be discontinued, but Polytechnic education should carve a niche for itself. “Let people know your capability and you will earn respect for that because Polytechnic graduates are meant for the industrial sector on which the economy of the country depends on.”
He further explained that university graduates are for the public sector, “It was because the dwindling economy and industries were no longer thriving that made Higher National Diploma (HND) graduates be working in public sector, which was not meant for them originally, thereby causing a disparity between them and their University counterpart. As a result of this, the government should enforce the same salary scale for them nationwide as it is being done in the paramilitary, Kano and Kwara states.”
The first female Secretary General of Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnic in Africa (CAPA), Mrs. Jaoh Faal, from Kenya in her goodwill message stated that the Association has played a major role in technical education as graduates all over the world have benefitted greatly which resulted in self-productive, while others have metamorphosed to employers of labour.
The Chairman Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) Yabatech chapter, Engr. Nureni Yekini appreciated the support of COHEADS in its struggle with state and federal in the following areas: “The release of revitalization fund of N15 Billion promised by the government; Salary shortfall, Promotion arrears, Payment of allowances, Review scheme of service, Payment of salary in the state own institutions, and CONTIS 15 Migration arrears.
“Our union also appeals to COHEADS to advise Rectors to abstain from the victimization of union leaders; forceful enrolment into IPPIS, withholding of union check-off dues especially in some state institutions.”