Exclusive: KWSG to handover IVTEC to KWASU

By Abdulrasheed Akogun

Barring any last minute changes, the Kwara state government is on the verge of handing over the State owned International Vocational, Technical and Entrepreneurship Centre (IVTEC), to the Kwara State University, Malete, Fresh Insight Investigation has gathered.

It would be recalled the immediate past Governor of the State, Gov. Abdulfatai Ahmed, under whose tenure the Centre was established in
2017 had promised that the Centre would position Kwara state as net exporter of globally competitive skilled artisans to the West African coast.

Fresh Insight findings revealed that 5 years down the line, the founding vision of the Institution still remains a dream, due largely to low enrollment, paucity of funds to effectively run the institution among other challenges affecting the smooth sailing of the institution.

Another major likely drawback for the institution, according to Fresh Insight’s findings is not unconnected to high management turnover, as the Institution has in its 5 years of commencement of Academic existence had no fewer than 4 Rectors.

In an attempt to reset the Institution for productivity, the Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq led Kwara state Government, after a virtual town hall meeting with Igbomina think tank on the sustainability of IVTEC, had via a press release dated November 27, 2022 and signed by Rafiu Ajakaiye, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor announced that the College may require some upgrades to issue diplomas or degrees for wider acceptance.

The statement reads, “Kwara state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has held a virtual town hall meeting with Igbomina think tank on the sustainability of IVTEC.

“The government is similarly concerned about the sustainability of the International Vocational Technical and Entrepreneurship College (IVTEC) Ajase-Ipo and it may require some upgrades to issue diplomas or degrees for wider acceptance, the Governor told the think tank, adding that such upgrades will not necessarily affect its primary focus on vocational trainings.

“We acknowledge the concerns on IVTEC. At the same time, we need to think about sustainability. Is it sustainable as it is? When we came on board, it was practically down. No one was enrolling there because they complained that the certificate is not widely recognised. We reduced the tuition to make it affordable while bearing the other costs but the situation remains the same.

“As I speak to you, only students that are 100% funded by the government are enrolled at the school.

“The Olupo of Ajase-Ipo Oba Ismail Alebiosu, who confirmed the development as narrated by the Governor with firsthand information within his domain, said the government and the people will be better served if the IVTEC issues a more acceptable certificate, even if it retains technical training. He said the current trend in the school is not sustainable” it reads.

The Rector, Dr. Yaru Salihu during the 3rd Convocation ceremony of the Centre, last year December, 2022, called on the government to allow the upgrade of the college to polytechnic status to encourage students’ enrolment.

Salihu called for the amendment of the law that established the institution to quicken the process that would lead to its upgrade.

Saliu said, “Since the approval IVTEC obtained in 2019 to award the National Innovation Diploma Certificate, the college has not been able to attract students into its NID programmes. This is largely due to the orientation of the populace about NID being a lesser certificate to the National Diploma.

“In view of this, the college is passionately seeking an upgrade to the status of a Polytechnic to boost students’ enrolment and also to position the college for educational grants from bodies such as TETFUND.

“There is a need to revise the law of establishment of the college to facilitate the process of the upgrade”. he stressed.

However, Investigation by Fresh Insight revealed that, the State has set machineries in motion to hand over the college to the management of Kwara State University, Malete.

Speaking with this medium, an highly placed government source who craved anonymity said “The government have instructed KWASU to come up with a marshal plan on how the school can manage the centre by submitting a sustainable proposal for the smooth and effective running of the institution.

Speaking further, he said “The University has already submited it recommendations/ proposals to the Kwara State government through the Ministry of Tertiary Education (MOTE)” he added.

Shedding light on the founding vision of the institution, an highly placed member of the immediate past Kwara State Government who craved anonymity while speaking with Fresh Insight said “I’m yet to be officially aware of the plans of the Gov. Abdulrazaq government on its plans for the centre, it will thus be preemptive to say it’s either superior or otherwise to the founding vision we had.

“However, what is not in contention is that the school needs improvement, that will guarantee increased enrollment, competitiveness, funding model, all these needs to be critically looked into.

“Our plan was to drive the school and get it accredited to award City and Guilds certification or its equivalent which is admissible across the globe.

“We initially set it up to be an hands-on certifying institution, unlike the conventional Polytechnic or University which requires at least 2 years enrollment to be certified.

“We planned on getting people especially artisans already armed with basic knowledge of the trade trained to be competitively prepared to operate internationally.

“We prioritised getting accreditation to award City and Guilds of London, certify, as it is arguably the most popular in West-Africa.

“That’s why we partnered the National Employers’ Consultative Agency (NECA) which deals with hands-on system in the manufacturing industries across the Country” he added.

“We should be careful not to totally deviate from the vision of the school. Converting it to Polytechnic or University will make the institution suffer the same fate Nigerians suffer internationally, wherein our certificates are termed inferior and lacking in international acceptability” he concluded.


Ibrahim Sheriff is the Editor of Fresh Insight and former Special Assistant on Media to the Speaker, Kwara state House of Assembly. Although a management science researcher by training, he has over five years experience of practice in Journalism, Public Relations and Communication Strategy. Sheriff holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Bachelors Degree in Banking and Finance from Kwara state University, Malete. He has Certificates in Digital Journalism, Enterprise Creation and Skill Acquisition (ECSA) and Basic Econometrics Data Analysis, as well as Bank of Industry (BoI) Certificate in Business Management. He is also a holder of Diploma in Cooperative Studies from Kwara state Polytechnic, Ilorin.

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