Abdullahi Sheriff Writes-in From Abeokuta, Ogun State
The free flow of any institution depends on the ability of a finesse leader to lead and manage both human and capital resources for institutional growth and development. This analogy resonates well with the level of transformation the Federal Polytechnic Offa has witnessed so far under the leadership of Dr. AbduLateef Ademola Olatunji.
Before Dr. Olatunji’s administration, the Federal Polytechnic Offa was ranking between 30th to 40th position among 112 Polytechnics in Nigeria; the emergence of Dr. Olatunji has upgraded the Polytechnic’s rank to number 8 among Polytechnics and monothechnics in Nigeria.
The transformation agenda of the Federal Polytechnic Offa Rector could easily be noticed with the number of affiliation degree programmes that are currently going on in the Polytechnic. Of course, the tenure of this Rector has brought a tremendous pride and prestige to the Polytechnic as industrial collaborations and affiliations are on the rise.
Currently, the Federal Polytechnic Offa in affiliation with Federal University of Technology Minna is running degree programmes. Similarly, Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho are on the verge of partnership to commence HND to BSc conversion programmes and at the same time, IVTEC Ajase Ipo has extended the partnership gesture to the Polytechnic among others.
As a matter of fact, affiliation and collaborations programmes is not achieved cheaply, it takes a facility tour to ensure standardization of both human and material resources before take off. A kind of conducive, convenient and robust atmosphere for research and academic excellence created by the Dr. Olatunji’s led Management has ushered academic partnership from left, right and center.
Frankly, academic and infrastructural development under Dr. Olatunji has been a very great and beautiful exploration. The part ll of this piece would cover infrastructural development. A great deal of successes have been recorded beyond pen and paper on academic development.
Under the leadership of Dr. Olatunji, the Polytechnic was ranked as best affiliate institution in Nigeria by Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC). A feat well acknowledged in an official letter directed to the Polytechnic by NUC. Similarly, the Industrial Trust Fund ranked the Polytechnic as best in SIWES performance among other institutions in Kwara State.
Edifices aside, accreditation and reaccreditation of courses offered in tertiary institutions poses great challenge; many Universities, Polytechnics have suffered set back due to unaccredited courses being offered. Accreditation of courses in institutions is not an easy deal. It is a serious matter that requires utmost attention of any serious Management. Unarguably, Dr. Olatunji’s led administration has librated the Polytechnic from accreditation threats as all courses offered in the institution are fully accredited.
For being the ‘Most Sought After Polytechnic’ according to JAMB ranking, it does not only mean the Polytechnic offers best technical education, it equally shows students want certificates that are accredited.
Accreditation is in tandem with standard facilities and equipment. Dr. Olatunji’s laborious efforts in equipping the studio, laboratories and workshops in the Polytechnic can not be measured. A multi million naira Mass Communication Departmental Studio equipment and Civil Engineering Irrigation Laboratory equipment procured from China speak more of the assiduous mindset of the Rector to make students of The Federal Polytechnic Offa compete favourably with counterparts globally.
Under Dr. Olatunji, the Polytechnic has been on the record of running uninterrupted academic calendar. Despite Covid-19 challenges, the Polytechnic is the first institution that completed 2019/2020 academic session and one of the few institutions that have commenced 2020/2021 academic session with strict Covid-19 compliance.
Development is a process but it starts with human beings. Staff development metamorphosed to institutional development. Without putting staff welfare and development into perspective, the Polytechnic growth and development will be slow. Dr. Olatunj’s transformation agenda started with staff welfare and development. The institution is fast becoming a den of PhD holders with myriads in view.
Dr. Olatunji has opened door for academic breakthrough which has led to multiple PhDs in the Polytechnic. As of today, The Federal Polytechnic Offa is one of the leading Polytechnics in Nigeria with highest number of Doctorate Degree holders; If Polytechnic system embraces professorial exploration, the Federal Polytechnic Offa would have been an habitation of professors. The input and output of these erudite scholars have in turn placed the Polytechnic on an enviable height.
When you have a leader that grants opportunity to staff to embark on research and explore new areas, such institution is on the verge of development. The output of Dr. Olatunji’s transformation agenda has granted a TEFFund honour to a staff, Dr. Sunday Asakpa as his PhD thesis was ranked among the best research conducted by scholars in Nigeria and was approved to be converted to textbook for use in tertiary institutions across the nation.
How many of Adepele’s multiple and interlocked teeth could be counted. Obviously and without mincing words, the Polytechnic’s relative peace, growth and development lies on the maverick and assiduous Rector with the support of other Principal Officers, Management staff, Staff Unions, Students, and the community at large.
Best Rector award, a well deserved one was conferred on Dr. Olatunji on two different occasions as his transformation agenda still lives on.
Keep in touch for part ll
Abdullahi Sheriff is a Public Affairs Analyst, Community Developer, Media Critic, Political Analyst and A Psychologist