A new dawn was ushered into the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, as the new Rector, Dr. Nurudeen Olaleye, took over the mantle of leadership of the institution in grand style.
The swearing-in of the new Rector, which was held at the school of Agriculture Auditorium, Ikorodu main campus of the Polytechnic, was coming about six months after the expiration of the controversial administration of the immediate past Rector, Mr. Samuel Sogunro.
The Deputy Rector (Academics), Mr. Olumide Metilelu, was selected by the State government to oversee the affairs of the institution in the last six months in the acting Rector capacity.
No doubt, the explosive crowd of staff, students and guests that filled the hall was indeed a testimony to the popularity of Dr. Olaleye within the academic community and the acceptability of his emergence as the new Rector.
The inauguration ceremony took off around 12.10pm with the triumphant arrival of the new Rector who was ushered into the hall amidst loud ovation from the staff of the institution who welcomed him with several Yoruba songs to demonstrate their support for him.
He took oath of office at 1.15pm under the supervision of the Polytechnic’s legal officer, Barrister Emmanuel A. Adesina and received the instruments of office Mr. Shakirudeen Bello, LASPOTECH Registrar, by 1.18pm, while the outgone acting Rector, Mr. Olumide Metilelu, formally handed over to him as the substantive Rector of the institution amidst deafening ovation from the turbo charged crowd.
Dr. Olaleye bagged his PhD in 2017 in United Kingdom (UK) and has been with the Lagos State Polytechnic in the last twenty years. He is reputed for highly rated academic articles in international journal.
He bagged his first degree and Masters of Science in Microbiology from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, and he was Head of Biological Sciences (2017 till date) and Head of Department Science Laboratory Technology (2016 to 2017), Assistant Director, School of Part Time Studies (Regular) 2011 to 2013, Head of Department, Food Technology (2010 to 2011), SIWES Coordinator, Food Technology Department (2005 to 2009), among other positions he held in LASPOTECH.
Meanwhile, in his acceptance speech, the new Rector, Dr. Olaleye, assured the Polytechnic staff and students that his administration will usher in a new era and change the negative narrative about the institution.
He pledged to change the narrative with which the foremost technology institution has been known for in recent time, while also describing the process that led to his emergence as highly challenging but thanked God that he was able to see it through despite the odds.
Olaleye also thanked the Governor of the State, who is also the Visitor to the institution, Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu, Chairman of the 12th Governor Council of the Polytechnic, Prof. Rasheed Kola Ojikutu, and the entire members of the Council, for ensuring that merit and justice which they promised prevailed in the selection of new Rector for the troubled institution.
“First and foremost, I thank God for making today a reality. It is with His power and permission that I stand before you as the 11th Rector of this great institution. The journey to this day has been challenging and highly demanding but I thank God that we are able to wade through and surmount all odds”, the new Rector said.
“Today marks the beginning of a new era in our Polytechnic. The journey to change the narratives has just begun. Today is the beginning of 1,825 days of this administration. The countdown starts today”, Dr Olaleye said to the staff and students that filled the hall.
He said that his administration will give priority to staff welfare and development for maximum productivity.
“And to start with, this administration will prioritize staff welfare, academic excellence and employability and entrepreneurship skills for our students. The Polytechnic is as great as the strength, the sacrifice and the free contributions of its human capital. Invariably too, our students are as good as the quality of our lecturers. A highly motivated workforce will almost probably deliver on its expectation. Therefore, our administration will invest heavily in human capital development”, he added.
The new Rector, who stated that all departments, groups and individuals will be treated fairly, also added that members of the academic community’s constructive criticisms will be viewed as a wake- up call which is required in an academic environment and not seen as a declaration of war.
“And in doing this, no school or department will be more important than the other and no group will receive favour over and above what it deserves. The justice and fairness already laid by the Governor,
His Excellency Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and the Governing Council, shall be the foundation- of our engagement with all stakeholders in this Polytechnic.
“No nation and no institution ever grows and prosper in an environment of oppression, favoritism and emasculation. Differences of opinions and interests are the basic ingredients of creativity and growth. And constructive criticism is a wake-up call.
“Wherever it is muzzled, the community is endangered. As a way of guiding against this, my office will remain open to all; listening to all complaints and acting on all issues until the best is achieved or justice is served for the benefit of all”.
While assuring that welfare and development of staff will be given the much needed attention and also welcome contributions in rebuilding the institution, Dr Olaleye also demanded members of the Polytechnic community to discharge their obligations to the institution.
“However, as I listen to all and strive hard to do your biddings, I will also expect and take in full measure your obligations to the Polytechnic. No one should expect from me when he or she cannot give back. Rights and obligations are two-way-traffic. It is never one way. And that is the only way we can change the narratives and make this Polytechnic great”, he said.
“Distinguished colleagues; our shared values of Professionalism, Excellence, Commitment, Dedication, Integrity, Fairness and Equity, and Transparency will be critical in our rebuilding process. This administration will take these seriously in all its actions. I enjoin you all to reflect on these shared values and be prepared to imbibe them in your work”.
He also charged them to cooperate with his administration in bringing back peace and harmony into the Polytechnic and assured that his administration will be opened to dialogue, engagement and negotiation.
“I will implore all stakeholders in this journey, and by this, I mean the academic staff, the non-academic staff, the technical staff and students, to cooperate with us. It is only in harmony we can achieve and celebrate.
“When the house is divided, it crumbles on everyone. Unfortunately in our own system, students often bear the brunt. This is the more reason why I will advise our great students to take advantage of our open-door policy at all times.
“As long as we run this institution for human beings, there will be moments of misunderstanding and the best way to resolve issues is through dialogue and engagement. It is only a coward that losses the voice of argument and resorts to war or violence. No issue is above dialogue, engagement and negotiation”, Dr Olaleye said.
Also in the acceptance speech, Dr Olaleye stated that the Polytechnic will focus on achieving the primary objectives it was established for by the founding fathers.
“This Polytechnic was built for a purpose. It was meant to be an excellent institution for higher education, the fountain of knowledge, and the bedrock of technology where education and dexterity meet.