EducationinvestigationNews

Exclusive: Crisis brews in COED Ilorin, as Mgt flouts NCCE guidelines over appointment

Staff Union kicks, petitions NCCE, management, demands reversal, adherence to due process

*The process is following due process – Governing Council 
By Abdulrasheed Akogun

The moves of the management of Kwara state College of Education, Ilorin, to appoint a new Registrar, Bursar and Director of Works for the State government owned Institution is creating friction, Fresh Insight has gathered.

It would be recalled, the school management had on 14th March, 2021 via an advert on Tribune Newspaper, called for suitably qualified candidates to apply for the vacant post of Registrar, Bursar and Director of Works respectively.

The advertisement, signed by the outgoing Registrar, A. A. Ibrahim, titled ‘Vacancies; internal and external advertisement’ invited applications from suitably qualified candidates for consideration for appointment into the aforementioned vacant positions.

Among other qualifying criteria contained in the advertisement, the management among other things pegged the ages of applicant for the three (3) vacant positions at 55 years as at the time of assumption of the office applied for.

 

Fresh Insight investigation revealed that the advertised age runs contrary to Condition and Schemes of Service for Colleges of Education in Nigeria of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, 2016, as amended.

The Scheme of service, according to page 13, 2. 8. 1 , which deals with the criteria for the appointment of Provost, the Scheme provides that, “… The appointee must not be more than 59 years of age upon assumption of office…” 59 years is also applicable to appointment of Registrar, Bursar and Librarian” it reads.

From this guideline, it can be inferred that the 55 years of age ceiling as contained in the the advertisement by COED Ilorin management runs contrary to the NCCE guidelines.
In the same vein, the advert pegged the qualifying level on CONTENDISS 14 and a minimum rank of Assistant Deputy Registrar.

However, this runs contrary to the NCCE guidelines. Curiously, according to the NCCE guidelines, Deputy Registrar is CONTENDISS 14, while Principal Assistant Registrar which was ostensibly referred to as Assistant Deputy Registrar in the advert is on CONTENDISS 13.

Citing this procedural anomalies, the local chapter and apex National body of the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education, Nigeria (SSUCOEN), in a letter titled RE-INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ADVERTISEMENT PLACED BY KWARA STATE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, ILORIN FOR THE POST OF THE REGISTRAR, DIRECTOR OF WORKS AND BURSAR dated 13th April, 2021 and addressed to the Executive Secretary, National Commission of Colleges of Education and jointly signed by Danladi Ali Msheliza and Nwenyi Leo Isioma, the President and National Secretary respectively, they among other things bemoan the process thus far, stressing that the process must be started all over again, by re-advertising and correcting the noted anomalies.

The letter reads “The Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education, Nigeria (SSUCOEN) writes to extend the compliments of season to the Executive Secretary of NCCE and to draw the attention of the Executive Secretary to the above advertisements placed by the Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin… The advertisement has some aberrations associated with it, particularly as it affects the posts of Registrar and Bursar.

Some of the observable lapses contained therein are as follows;
“(1) The advert did not specify that the Registrar and Bursar are on consolidated salary (2) It did not provide as a requirement that the candidate must be Deputy Registrar, in College of Education environment, rather it contained an ambiguous provision that ‘the candidate should not be below the rank of Assistant Deputy Registrar on CONTENDISS 14 which is equivalent to the rank of Deputy Registrar in other Institutions’. This is an aberration and strange. One wonders how and where this provision comes about. Deputy Registrar and Bursar are on CONTENDISS 15. This strange invention from the College is unacceptable.

“The age limit for one to be appointable (sic) is years 59 and not 55 years as published. This should be corrected in line with the conditions of service as provided by the NCCE.

“The duration for this type of advert is (6) weeks and not four (4) weeks as published by the College.
“It is pertinent here to stress that some of these excesses from the Colleges should be checked so that there would be a standard as regulated by NCCE”, it stressed.

The Union however demanded among other things that “in the interest of industrial harmony and in compliance to NCCE’s conditions of service/guidelines for Colleges of Education, SSUCOEN prays the commission to urgently call the attention of Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, to the observed lapses and direct them to rework the publication and re-advertise as appropriate.”

Relying on the letter written by its national body, the local chapter of the Union on 21st April, 2021 wrote a letter to institution’s Council Chairman, Elder. Reuben Iye and signed by A. Yusuf, the Union’s General Secretary.

The letter titled RE-INTERNAL AND EXTEENAL ADVERTISEMENT PLACED BY KWARA STATE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, ILORIN FOR THE POST OF THE REGISTRAR, DIRECTOR OF WORKS AND BURSAR reads “I have been directed by the Chairman as directed by the National Secretariat of SSUCOEN, Abuja to intimate your good offices of the letter written by the National President of our Union which further highlighted the aberrations noticed in the advert placed by the College on the above subject matter.
“You may recall sir, that our Union had earlier written to complain on the same issue. In this regard, a copy of the letter written to NCCE by the National President is hereby attached for your perusal (for which you were copied)” it added.

Further investigation by Fresh Insight showed that when the school wanted to appoint Deans of Schools, it relied on the NCCE guideline which stipulated that, a Dean must be at least a Principal Lecturer, as against the Institution’s condition of service which stipulates that to be eligible for Dean, one must be Chief lecturer.
The school of Education, Science and Languages are all Principal Lecturers, where Mr.Saka Babatunde, Dr. S A Adebayo and Imam Salahudeen Abdulkadir respectively were appointed.

In the same vein, the outgoing Registrar is 63 years old, which although is inline with NCCE guideline which stipulates that 65 and not 60 years should be retirement age.

Speaking on the Development, the Council Chairman, Elder Reuben Iye, himself a retired Chief Lecturer, while confirming the said letter, affirmed that “the process has the blessing and buy-in of all relevant stakeholders within and outside the institution.

“The State Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science and Technology which is the supervisory ministry are well in the know of the process and they’ve certified it.

“The institution is State government owned, and thus the State government reserves the right to set the rules and in this case the criteria for recruitments, the advertised eligibility criteria is as agreed.

“On the petition by SSUCOEN, it is because they’re an interested party and thus using every opportunity to put there interest at an advantageous position, ironically, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) which is more concerned with non-academic positions have officially written to us to commend the process and transparency that has trailed the process thus far” he added.

Attempts by Fresh Insight to see the said letter commending the exercise by NASU wasn’t successful as at the time of filing this report.

Speaking with Fresh Insight on condition of anonymity, an institution source confirmed that the management might have concluded moves to readvertise the vacancy, in order to ensure the process doesn’t run foul of the law.

“They’ve concluded arrangements to readvertise the vacancies, especially for Bursar and Director of Works, I however can’t say if the Registrarship will also be affected in the new advert”, the source confirmed.

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