The newly constituted Governing Council of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) has sought the royal blessings and support of the Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Kabir Shotobi, in its tasks to engender peace and harmony in the institution and also reposition it for further development and academic excellence.
These were the aims of the 12th Governing Council when its Chairman, Prof. Rasheed Kola Ojikutu, and other members were led by the acting Rector of the Polytechnic, Mr Olumide Metilelu, on a courtesy visit to the Ayangbure Palace on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Both the new council and acting Rector recently took over the mantle of leadership and management of the Polytechnic from the immediate past Governing Council, led by Professor Tajudeen Gbadamosi, and management team, led by Mr. Samuel Sogunro, whose larger part of tenure was characterized by prolonged conflict with the staff unions over the CONTISS 15 Salary Migration Scheme and other issues.
Meanwhile, Oba Shotobi, while addressing his august visitors, commended them for deeming it fit to familiarise themselves with the palace and also to seek his blessings and support. While stating that he was meeting the acting Rector and members of the Governing Council for the first time, he assured them that the door of the palace will always be open to them for further visits and collaboration to move the Polytechnic forward.
Oba Shotobi described the LASPOTECH as his baby and expressed his readiness to work for its progress while also urging the new Governing Council and management team to avoid the kind of crisis that plagued the tenures of their predecessors and work in peace and harmony with the staff of the Polytechnic.
The monarch also reiterated his support for the Lagos State Polytechnic’s aspiration of transmuting into a University of Technical Education so that it will be better positioned to serve the Ikorodu Community, Lagos State and Nigeria at large. He revealed that he once asked the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch A. Adeboye, to pray for the upgrade of the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) into a University of Technical Education during the RCCG programme held in the Polytechnic last year. To this end, he urged both the council and management team to raise the status of the departments as well as the academic competence of the teaching staff to put the institution in the right direction towards achieving the feat.
Oba Shotobi charged them to be transparent in their dealings and also embrace projects that are capable of enhancing the status of the Polytechnic in becoming a University of Technical Education, such as the construction of the Professor Adegbola Memorial Science Centre in the Ikorodu main campus of the Polytechnic.
He also appealed for the acceleration of the process of building hostel accommodation for the students through Build, Own and Transfer (BOT) process.
He concluded his address with prayers for the acting Rector and members of the Governing Council and wished them successful tenure.
Earlier, Sir (Chief) Ayodele Elesho, the former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy and the Agbaakin of lkorodu, while giving a brief opening address, recalled efforts made by the Ayangbure Palace to intervene in the crisis between the former Rector of the Polytechnic and the staff unions but which were unsuccessful due to the refusal of both parties to embrace wise counsels.
He commended the acting Rector and members of the new Governing Council for starting well and expressed confidence in their capabilities to address the crisis facing the Polytechnic and restore peace, while also urging them to be transparent in their dealings and work in harmony with the staff.
In his own brief remarks, Prof Kunle Ade Wahab, a former Chairman of the Lagos State University Governing Council, described the new Chairman of the Governing Council as a man that possess the required capacity to steer the affairs of the institution and also expressed his confidence in his ability to resolve all challenges facing the citadel of learning.
While corroborating Oba Shotobi’s response, he charged the Governing Council to work wholeheartedly in breaking new grounds, particularly by ensuring that the Polytechnic becomes a University of Science and Technology and also ensure that the academic staff acquire the needed capacities to work at that level.
Prof. Rasheed Ojikutu, the Chairman of the Governing Council, in his remarks, explained that the crisis that faced the Polytechnic during the tenure of the immediate past Rector and Governing Council was due to lack of transparency; thus, he informed the gathering that the new Governing Council and management are trying to be transparent in their dealings and disclosed that they are already seeing the positive results of their transparency. He said that they had visited the Ayangbure palace to solicit the blessings of Oba Shotobi before the Council swings into full operations while also appealing for the support of the entire residents of Ikorodu towards the commercialization of LASPOTECH’s produce and innovations, which he said would create employment opportunities for indigenes of Ikorodu and others.
Prof Ojikutu assured that the new leadership will ensure peaceful co-existence on the campuses of the Polytechnic and avoid future face-off between its management and staff. He also disclosed that the process of appointing a substantive Rector for the Polytechnic by the middle of October is ongoing and promised that the new Rector will emerge on merit. On Oba Shotobi’s requests for hostel accommodation and turning the Polytechnic into University of Technical Education, the Governing Council Chairman assured that efforts are already being made to achieve that.
The acting Rector, Mr. Olumide Olusola Metilelu, in his own remarks, expressed his profound gratitude to Oba Shotobi for the warm reception given to him and his team, stating that the gesture was a proof that Ikorodu is interested in the progress of the Polytechnic and also noted that it is important that the new Governing Council familiarize itself with the palace to further strengthen the relationship that LASPOTECH shares with the Ayangbure throne and the people of Ikorodu.
He said that as a former student of the Polytechnic, he is committed to leveraging on the opportunity availed to him as acting Rector in working towards moving the institution to further greater heights.
And while stating that issues that led to the crisis between the immediate past management team and the staff unions are already being addressed, he informed the palace about the recent developments in the Polytechnic under his watch, which include the on-going efforts to clear the backlog promotion exercises, stakeholders’ meetings, improvement of staff welfare as well as the proposed human resources and capacity development.
The visit was rounded off with presentation of gifts to Oba Shotobi by the Polytechnic and photograph session. Others present at the visit were mmembers of the Governing Council, Executive Management Committee of LASPOTECH and traditional Chiefs and