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Education Minister Intervenes In Lagos College Tenure Dispute

THE Minister of State for Education, Dr Tanko Sununu, has asked the Provost, Federal College of Education, Technical, Akoka, Lagos, Dr Ademola Azeez, to resume his official duties.

He said this at a reconciliation meeting between the provost and representatives of protesting workers of FCE(T) in Abuja.

A statement made available to OUR CORRESPONDENCE on Friday said the pact resolved that the key to the provost office should be released to the Chairman of the newly inaugurated Governing Council of the college.

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The aggrieved worker locked up Azeez’s office in May during a protest.

The resolutions also said that the ongoing daily protest by the workers over the tenure of the provost should end immediately.

On May 27, staff members of the institution staged a protest against Azeez, citing concerns over his continued tenure.

The protesters argued that his prolonged stay in office violated the governing Act of Federal Colleges nationwide.

The workers stated that the Provost’s tenure in office ended on May 26, 2024, following Section 13, Subsections 7a and b of the new Act signed by President Bola Tinubu.

However, the provost, said he was appointed for the first term of four years in 2019, and that having been duly reappointed by the institution’s governing council in 2023, he already resumed his second term in office on May 27, 2023, before the amended act was signed into law on June 12, 2023.

Following letters by the unions seeking clarification on the tenure of office of the provost based on the amended act, the Minister wrote the unions in May, affirming the legality of Azeez’s second term of four years.

However, the protesters were not satisfied with the minister’s verdict, they rather continued to stage daily protests on the campus.

The minister on Thursday invited the provost and the representatives of the protesting workers to a reconciliation meeting at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

However, the agreement was signed by the Director of Colleges of Education in the ministry, Dr Uchenna Uba; the Chairman of the newly inaugurated Governing Council of the College, Dr Adenuga Olatunde; Caretaker Chairman of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, Ishola Lawal; Chairman of the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education, Augustin Nwachukwu, and the Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union on the campus, Olasunkanmi Alonge.

Apart from Sununu who chaired the meeting, other ministry officials at the meeting included the Director of Special Duties in the ministry, Mr Zubairu Abdullahi.

Also in attendance at the meeting were the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Colleges of Education, Paulinus Okwelle; Chairman of the Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education, Faruk Haruna; National Vice-President, Samuel Ogunmokun, among others.

The agreement said the governing council chairman should meet with the college staff representatives who were part of the meeting immediately after the reconciliation meeting last night.

The meeting also mandated the new council to investigate the allegation of misappropriation of funds approved for the fencing of the college levelled against the college management by the workers.

“The Provost should be allowed to operate under the supervision of the Chairman of the Governing Council of the College whilst all staff seize to protest forthwith.

“On the state of offices of chief lecturers, the college should take immediate measures to improve the condition or allow them to go back to their former offices.

“It also mandated the governing council to “address the issue regarding the appointment of the bursar of the institution,” it read.

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