Between NBTE, Kaduna Polytechnic and the Bitter Truth

Kaduna Polytechnic
Kaduna Polytechnic
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HOW THE ISSUE STARTED

It was in just a few days a saga between Kaduna Polytechnic and the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) emerged on an irregularity of administrative service following the elongation of Kaduna Polytechnic Acting Rector tenureship whirled the air of Mass Media. A lot of people see the story from different angles and up to now a fog of propaganda has diffused the truth about who is at fault from the story that leaked on Blueprint Newspaper. For Professor Idris M. Bugaje, who is much known by many and any person that works with him or has affairs with him is a man of truth and principles.

WHO IS PROFESSOR IDRIS MUHAMMAD BUGAJE?

Professor Idris Bugaje is a principled administrator and non-corrupted personnel whose good conduct of service has been elevating him to various stages of service in Nigeria and beyond. Professor Idris M. Bugaje started working with the Nigerian Paper Mills, Jebba from 1981-1983, Energy Research Centre, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto from 1983-1988 and Kaduna Polytechnic as Lecturer I and rose to the rank of Senior Lecturer and Head, Department of Chemical Engineering between 1988-1995. He joined the services of Ahmadu Bello University in 1995 and two years later left for the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1997-1999). He returned to ABU Zaria in 1999 as Reader (Associate Professor) from where he was appointed Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa in 2000.

And, upon the successful completion of his tenure at NARICT in 2016, he went for a one year Sabbatical leave with- the Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina and towards the tail end of the sabbatical; he was appointed Rector of the famous Kaduna Polytechnic in October 2017 while before the end of his tenure, in April 2021 he was appointed the Executive Secretary of the NBTE, and upon all these few to mentioned services Bugaje has no case to answer because he is a man of integrity with the uncorrupted record.

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National Board for Technical Education - NBTE
National Board for Technical Education – NBTE

DOES NBTE HAVE THE RIGHT TO INTERFERE IN POLYTECHNIC MATTERS?

As the NBTE E.S Professor Idris Bugaje is saddled with the responsibilities to oversee the works and academic progress of all Nigerian polytechnics and Bugaje did not only exposed the skeleton in the cupboard of Kaduna Polytechnic for violating the Polytechnics Act alone but also of Auchi and Mubi Polytechnics and their cried was not lauder like Kaduna Polytechnic or was it before he was once their immediate rector?

WHEN DID DR. SULAIMAN UMAR BECOME ACTING RECTOR OF KADUNA POLYTECHNIC?

On the matter of the Acting Rector; Dr. Suleiman Umar, he became the Acting Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic on 14th April, 2021 when Professor Idris M. Bugaje was appointed by the President of Nigeria to serve as the Executive Secretary of the NBTE and the appointment of the Acting Rector was rectified in May.

WHAT ARE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF POLYTECHNICS’ COUNCILS?

Professor Bugaje did the right work under his capacity by writing a petition as the NBTE Executive Secretary because the Council of Kaduna Polytechnic faulted the Act of the Polytechnics Acts that said, the Rector of any polytechnic shall be appointed by the President in accordance with the provisions of the Polytechnics Acts and NBTE as a stakeholder and a great pillar of Technical Education is responsible to:

“Consolidated to develop the nation’s system of higher education in response to the economy’s manpower needs; To streamline and strengthen the machinery for educational development in the country; and. To rationalize the financing of education with a view to making the educational system more adequate and efficient” and when anarchy exist systems collapse and Kaduna Polytechnic is a volatile Institution that is characterized with many strikes in the past and Bugaje as the immediate Rector of the Institution set a good pace for the Polytechnic and because he knew much about how-to guide and control the Institution to cordon its problems he must blow the whistle to call for an order.

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The Polytechnics Act has spelt that the Council of Polytechnics has no right to appoint an acting rector or constitute an appointment for rector because the Polytechnic Act stated that only the President of Nigeria has the power to appoint any rector of polytechnics.

The Polytechnics Act says; (2) Where a vacancy occurs in the post of Rector, the Council shall only do the following:

(a) Advertise the vacancy in a reputable journal or widely read newspaper in Nigeria, specifying- (i) The qualities of the person who may apply for the post; and (ii) The terms and conditions of service applicable to the post, and thereafter, draw up a shortlist of suitable candidates for consideration;

(b) Constitute a Search Team consisting of- (i) a member of the Council, not being a member of the Academic Board, as Chairman; (ii) two members of the Academic Board, not below the rank of Chief Lecturer; (iii) two members of the Academic Community of the college not below the rank of Chief Lecturer, to be selected by Council, to identify and draw up a shortlist of persons who are not likely to apply on their own volition because they feel that it is not proper to do so.

1993 No.5. The President shall appoint, as Rector, one of the candidates recommended to him the provisions of the subsection.

While the polytechnic Act has explained that for anything that happened within the jurisdiction of any polytechnic, a communiqué shall be written to the president through the Minister of Education and copied to all relative bodies (including NBTE) and the action of Mubi and Auchi polytechnics counterfeit the Polytechnics Acts because they wrongly extend the tenure of their acting rectors and the Polytechnics Acts stated that any acting rector shall not exceed six months in an acting capacity.

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WHY THE TRUTH IS ALWAYS BITTER?

The truth of the matter is; the hands of Professor Idris Bugaje are clean like always and have no harm on anyone but has great respect to his national assignment and the allegiance of power to his duty. The petition written to the Minister of the Federation was a good move for Bugaje to clear the air about his integrity because many could perceive that Bugaje supported and has hand in the tenure renewal of the Kaduna Polytechnic Acting Rector.

And what Bugaje did, added credit to his personality at his side of truth and people should know that Bugaje has no friend in his official duties, even though he is sociable, understanding, and friendly to all but his nationalism is above all, though he has no enemy in all his social affairs but he may have many in his duty of doing good work for his country.

At this time of this turmoil between Kaduna Polytechnic, the whistleblower (Bugaje) and the truth, the truth has been exposed and it is left for the President of Nigeria and the Minister of Education to do their parts because Professor Idris Muhammad Bugaje has played his part as a good Nigerian and a lawful administrator that also hates corruption.

WHAT THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA SHOULD DO?

Bugaje’s effort is aimed in restoring the system of education which corruption always decay and it is suspected that many officials in the Ministry of Education collected money to carpet the issue raised by Bugaje because of interest, but as Bugaje said, he is awaiting for a final verdict from the Minister of Education on his petition and as a good Nigerian who hates corruption like President Muhammadu Buhari will soon act into action.

Umar A. Ahmad is a national analyst from Katsina and can be reached on ahmadugamji@gmail.com

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