Efforts of the management of the Lagos State Polytechnic to change the status of the institution to a University has received the support of one of the most ranking lawmakers of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. S.O. B. Agunbiade who is also the Majority Leader of the Assembly.
The three-term lawmaker, representing the Ikorodu Constituency I, gave his support to the move when he visited the institution as a guest of honour and guest speaker at the inauguration of the newly elected members of the Lagos State Polytechnic Students’ Union Government’s Students’ Representatives Council (LAPSOTECH SUG/SRC) which was held at the 700-Seater Auditorium at the Main Campus in Ikorodu on Wednesday, December 12, 2018.
While paying a brief courtesy visit to the Rector of the institution, Mr Samuel Sogunro, in his office where he was welcomed as a guest of the institution, Hon. Agunbiade stated that he is always willing and ready to join hands with LASPOTECH management in moving the school forward.
The lawmaker was received by the institution’s Deputy Rector (Administration), Dr Olatunji Olateju, on behalf of the Rector.
He assured that he will facilitate a bill for the transmutation of the institution from its present status as the Lagos State Polytechnic to Lagos State Polytechnic University which is going to be the first of its kind in Nigeria with the status of awarding National Diploma (ND), Higher National Diploma (HND) and Degree.
While giving his assurance, Hon. Agunbiade stated that :
“Presently, the arrangement put in place by the government is that starting from next session, after the ND programme, our students should go directly for a degree, but with this new arrangement of the school, we are going to blaze the trail for other states to copy.
“It is doable and as your representative, I will ensure that I work with the school to prepare a bill and communicate with the Chairman House Committee on Education to see to how we can achieve the needful.
“It was after we started the ‘Ajagungbale’ law (the law that prohibits forceful entry into lands), LAWMA, LASTMA, Security Trust Fund and other laws and initiatives that other states started copying us. We are the centre of excellence”, Hon. Agunbiade stated.
He added that the institution, which he said is part of his constituency, is pride of the state because of its pedigree as the number one polytechnic in Nigeria and its achievements in various spheres of life.
“I am always ready and willing to honour your invitation whenever I am invited by the students’ Union or management of the school because this institution is an integral part of my constituency”, he stated.
“This institution is our pride in Lagos State being a foremost institution and the best polytechnic in Ikorodu. We have the onerous duty to ensure that its achievements are not only sustained but improved upon.
“I am always inspired to come to this school because of its pedigree. In most schools, the gulf between the management and students is as wide as anything that you can imagine but I have seen that in LASPOTECH, there has been a cordial relationship among the management, staff members and the students.
“I commend the school for allowing the students to grow by assisting them in organizing talks and bringing in people to share their experiences with them. This is highly commendable. This is part of the activities that would make them grounded and impactful after graduating from the institution”, he stated while commending the school.
The ranking lawmaker also charged the school management and the students to do more in improving its relationship with the host community and make adequate use of their representatives in achieving their aims.
“I must add that the school is somehow detached from the host community. You need to carry the stakeholders along in your activities. That is the only way to give meaning to the concept of the ‘Town and the Gown’.
“You are also detached from my office as the representative of Ikorodu. You are part of my constituency and most issues ought to have been resolved before getting out there. In most cases, the issue is usually brought to my attention by the management when it has already gotten out of hand. An example was a disagreement between the management and the staff members most of whom are my mates in the University, comrades and personal friends. The school should improve on this.
Speaking earlier, the Rector had stated that after the institution 40th anniversary, the management had thought it wise to bring the foremost institution in tandem with the practice in the global academic and bridge the dichotomy between the Polytechnic and University graduates in Nigeria.
“Ours is an institution that has produced arrays of professionals that are contributing in many areas of the economy and recently, we celebrated 40 years of the school existence where we thought fit to bring the institution in line with the global practice.
“We are also bothered with the dichotomy that exists between the Polytechnic and University graduates in Nigeria. Although, the government has tried to bridge this gap but it still persists. We have well-grounded products from Polytechnic that are doing better because of what they have been exposed to while they were here.
“Our resolve, after serious deliberation, is to change to University status without losing our present status. In this pursuit, we have visited NUC and NBTE where we have been advised to ensure that the law that establishes the school must first be amended to accommodate our proposal.
“What we resolved at is Lagos State Polytechnic University. There are examples of this abroad and in Africa. If we are able to achieve the change in status, we are going to be the first to achieve that in Nigeria.”
According to the Rector, the change in status would effectively correct the problem of dichotomy and place graduates from the school at par, if not ahead, with their University counterparts in the labour market.
“With the proposed Lagos State Polytechnic University, we are going to award ND, HND, and Degree altogether, while also retaining the current name of the school.
“This will ensure that thousands of people who had passed through the school will maintain their certificates and relationship with the school.
“The change would also make us combine both Polytechnic and University syllabuses for the benefits of our students and make them stand out among their peers.
“The school is counting on our vibrant and eloquent representative to achieve this for the benefits of Ikorodu, Lagos State and the country at large”, the Rector stated while charging Hon. Agunbiade.”