The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced the appointment of a chief lecturer at the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Ikorodu, Nurudeen Olaleye, as the institution’s 11th rector.
Mr Sanwo-Olu, who is the visitor to the state-owned polytechnic, made the announcement through the office of his special adviser on education (SAE), Mr Tokunbo Wahab.
Eleven candidates who initially vied for the position were recently interviewed by the institution’s Appointment and Promotion Committee (A&PC), a relevant organ of the school’s governing council.
In September, the committee, which was chaired by the chairperson of the governing council, Rasheed Ojikutu, a professor at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, had graded the applicants based on their performance with the trio of Mr Olaleye, Olumide Metilelu and Abiodun Okunnu, ranking first, second and third respectively.
Mr Metilelu, the incumbent acting rector, was the deputy to the immediate past rector of the institution, Samuel Sogunro.
Mr Sogunro’s administration was characterised by a series of crises including constant conflicts with all the labour unions on the campus over allegations of corruption, victimisation, militarisation of the institution, poor welfare condition, and abuse of power and privileges, among numerous others.
The government was compelled to set up a visitation panel to the institution in 2019 towards ascertaining the immediate and remote causes of the crises that rocked the school, which kept the students home for many months.
Some of the demands of the angry workers presented to the panel was the removal of the former rector, appointment of competent hands into the governing council, merit-driven appointment of another rector, payment of owed arrears of allowances, among others.
The panel has since submitted its report, but the government has failed to release the White Paper many months after.
Towards ensuring merit and transparency, the seven-member A&P committee had invited other outsiders who are either serving or retired heads of academic institutions to take part in the screening of candidates for the position of rector.
Apart from the chairperson, Mr Ojikutu, other internal members are Segun Ogunlewe, Babalola Laguda, Yinka Adewusi and Mrs Awonuga.
There were also Mrs Sunmonu representing the office of the SAE and Mr. Lawal, who represented the polytechnic’s academic board.
Those invited external school administrators had included the former vice-chancellor of Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State; rector of Yaba College of Technology, Owoseni Omokungbe; his counterparts from The Polytechnic, Ibadan, and Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State; Kazeem Adebiyi and Adekolawole Taiwo respectively.
The vice-chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Olanrewaju Fagbohun, was also an external expert who took part in the grading of the applicants.
At the end of the process, while Olaleye reportedly scored 78.27, his closest rival and the incumbent acting rector, Metilelu polled 73.56 while Okunnu scored 66.88.
Olaleye, the newly appointed rector studied Microbiology at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, where he finished with second class, lower division, in 1994. He obtained his Master’s certificate in the same field in UNILAG in 1995.
He worked as quality control manager at Alateco Foods, Limited, Alimosho, Lagos between 1995 and 1999 before joining the service of the polytechnic as lecturer II at its Ikosi campus in 2000.
He became lecturer 1 in 2003 and was promoted to Senior lecturer in 2008. He later became a principal lecturer in 2013 and chief lecturer in 2017.
Mr Olaleye served as the head of both food technology and science laboratory technology departments at various times.
Between 2010 and 2017, Olaleye, born on February 14, 1971, attended Loughborough University, United Kingdom, where he bagged his doctoral degree certificate in Public Health Microbiology with areas of specialisations including, Water Microbiology, Water Sanitation and Safety, Water Safety Policy, Biotechnology and Food and Industrial Microbiology.