By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
TWO years after the Federal Government announced the conversion of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and Kaduna Polytechnic to full fledged universities, the National Assembly is yet to see through the enabling act that will give legal teeth to this policy statement.
The procrastination of the lawmakers on this issue sharply contraasts with the feverish preparations which the management of these two polytechnics have been putting in place to justify the expected new status of degree-awarding institutions.
The Rector of Yabatech, Mrs. Magaret Kudi Ladipo says that her institution is ready to assume the responsibilities of a full fledged university but the non-passage of the enabling act is delaying the assumption of this new status.
According to the newly appointed Rector, the college has been doing a lot in addressing the twin challenges of developing a strong research capability and the required manpower in preparation to be a full fledged degree-awarding institution, adding that her administration will consolidate on the achievements of her predecessor.
She says: â€œResearch plays a major role in rating and ranking of tertiary institutions. All academic staff and students would be inspired to initiate and seek resources for research through fund attracting proposals. Research proposals that seek to benefit particular sectors of the community would attract funds. An annual publication index where the works and inventions of academic staff and students are listed would be made available to the public.â€
To enhance the functions of the existing Applied Research and Technology programme in the college, a modern Central Research Laboratory is to be built for staff, students and the extended academic community, says Ladipo.
In-house training and lecture series, she disclosed is to be organised on regular basis to create opportunity for staff not only to share experiences, but also to learn and increase their knowledge-base. They also provide avenues for individuals to be exposed to contemporary trends, practices and procedures.
Just as the college boasts of a good percentage of its academic staff with Ph.D degrees and masters degrees, the Rector of the premier tertiary institution in Nigeria explained that staff and students would be encouraged and motivated in their studies at post-graduate level through grants and scholarship in accordance with her vision of enhancing human capacity development in technological and entrepreneurial education.
The institution, she revealed, has commenced the process of reviewing her strategic plan of action.
According to Ladipo, a strategic planning workshop will hold very soon to which all stakeholders will be invited to make their inputs as a way of moving the college to a centre of excellence as envisioned by the Federal Government.
The new rector of the college disclosed this during her maiden address to the college staff at a forum called family meeting, adding that the planned stakeholders meeting will afford her the opportunity of presenting her administrationâ€™s strategic agenda.
As part of her plan of action, she said the college will locate, seek and enter into partnership arrangements and exchange programmes with relevant local and foreign institutions in areas like research, innovation, teaching, learning and general business.
According to her, new academic programmes will be expanded and supported with adequate infrastructural facilities in accordance with the vision of her administration and the contemporary of industrial and manufacturing sectors, explaining that the college will place more premium on human capacity development in line with the Federal Governmentâ€™s seven-point agenda.
The rector charged the entire staff to embrace the culture of research and professional development as mechanism will be put in place to ensure regular training of staff to improve individual knowledge base, skills and competencies in the wake of the college becoming a degree awarding institution any moment from now.
Ladipo declared to over 5000 staff of the college, both academic and non-academic staff, that the Epe campus of the college is a big project that is very dear to her administrationâ€™s heart and would do every thing possible to develop the campus in the light of the challenges being faced at the main campus in terms of space and challenges.
Said she: â€œI intend to actualize the commencement of academic activities in the Epe campus in order to overcome the challenges of space constraint and to revisit the master plan of the campus to explore the new opportunities .
On staff welfare, she assured the staff and students that their welfare is a cardinal point of her regime. The newly completed ETF building project in the college, according to her shall be allocated to deserving schools to alleviate the problem of office accommodation while office furniture and equipment needs shall be attended to.
Mrs Ladipo passionately admonish the staff and students of the college to work for peaceful coexistence and harmony in the college for productivity to be achieved. She enjoined all to contribute their quota with every sense of commitment, dedication, hardworking and fear of God towards taking the college to the next level.
The rector also appealed to all staff to do their jobs diligently and endeavour at all times to follow the rules and regulations, making contributions in achieving the desired peace, harmony and mutual understanding as a sign of cooperation with the new administration which has made open door policy her watchword.