NBTE petitions FG over extension of poly rector’s tenure

Few days after completing six months as ag. Rector, the Governing Council of the Kaduna Polytechnic, led by 90-year- old Senator Mohammed Mohammed, on November 17, 2021 approved the extension of another six months for Dr. Suleiman Umar to serve in acting capacity.

It is an action that violates the Polytechnic (Amendment) Act 2019 that forbids such further extension.

A copy of the Polytechnic Act obtained by our reporter stated that : “In the case of vacancy in the office of the Rector, the Council shall appoint an Acting Rector who should not be in office for more than six months.”

A source confirmed to our reporter that already, the executive secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Professor Idris M. Bugaje, has written to the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, through the director, polytechnics, on the matter.
The letter dated November 17, 2021, said the NBTE executive secretary sought the intervention of the ministry to resolve the issue.
The letter signed by the NBTE boss, added states: “I write to inform you that the Governing Council of the Kaduna Polytechnic, currently meeting in the institution, has extended the tenure of the ag. Rector beyond six months until a new Rector is appointed. This is against the provisions of the Polytechnic Act as amended and attached. It is also against the legal advice given by Abdullahi Ibrahim and Partners Chambers as attached.

“This action of the council amounts to violation of the Polytechnic Act and the ministry should approve steps to reverse this illegality. I had advised the Ag. Rector and Registrar verbally not to embark on extension of tenures but to no avail.

“Dr. Suleiman became the Acting Rector on 14th April, 2021, when I was appointed executive secretary of the NBTE. The council ratified on 18th May, 2021 and on the 7th November, the mandate ended.
“There are already allegations of financial inducements of the Governing Council, among others allegations.

“Sir, you may wish to note that this provision of 6 months acting period without extension has been complied with in Mubi and Auchi in spite of the challenges in these institutions.
“In the future, the ministry should direct that all sitting acting Rectors should not be applicants to vacant positions and if they are interested in applying, they should step aside and allow another Ag. Rector to be appointed due to the experiences we are having from Federal Polytechnic Mubi and KadPoly.”