Two non-academic staff unions of the Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech), on Wednesday, hailed the appointment of Mr Obafemi Omokungbe as the substantive Rector of the college.
The unions, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions in Lagos that the appointment was a welcome development.
Mr Olorunmbe Omopariola, SSANIP Chairman, Yabatech chapter, said that the appointment was a welcome development and acceptable.
Omopariola said that the union had been clamouring for a substantive rector since the tenure of the former rector, Dr Margaret Ladipo, ended on Dec. 8, 2017.
“We commend the Federal Government for yielding to our calls and giving us Mr Obafemi Omokungbe of the Civil Engineering Department as our new rector.
“We look forward to the appointments of the other two principal officers, the Registrar and Bursar.
“The union will meet with the rector next week to listen to his plans for the college before we can present our agenda and demands,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Tunbosun Ilesanmi, NASU Chairman in the college, hailed the appointment and commended the Federal Government, saying that this was the first time an alumnus of the college would be appointed to head the institution.
Ilesanmi said: “We cannot set agenda for him without knowing his plans, aspirations, his past and how he hopes to achieve them.
“We want him to present his plans to us and he has promised to meet with members of staff soon.
“The unions will have to study his plans and make a presentation on our position.
“We are happy with the appointment because it is not good for a college like Yabatech to be without a rector, being the first higher institution in Nigeria.
“We want the other positions appointed as soon as possible, without further delay,” he said.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday announced Omokungbe, 55, as the Rector of Yabatech.
Omokungbe is the first alumnus of the 70-year old institution to be appointed rector.
He succeeded Dr Margaret Ladipo, whose tenure ended on Dec.10, 2017.
Announcing the appointment, the Chairman, Yabatech Governing Council, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) said, “Record is made today as Omokungbe has been approved by the Minister for Education and the Presidency as rector.
“The Governing Council had adopted the best to get the best and God has given us the best.
“Indeed, it is all that is well that ends well. I must say it is easier to get to the top of the ladder, but it requires 10 times the initial effort to sustain yourself at the top.
“That means, as you have come out in large number to solidarise with the new rector, you must keep praying for him to succeed,” he said.
Omokungbe joined the services of Yabatech as Lecturer III in 1993 and rose through the ranks to become a Chief Lecturer in the Civil Engineering Department, School of Civil Engineering and Natural Resources, Yabatech in 2009.
He was Head, Department of Civil Engineering (2007 – 2009) and had published many scholarly articles and used his professional know-how to impact on the College structural development programmes.
Besides, he was a former president of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (Yabatech Branch).
Omokungbe, addressing members of staff after his unveiling, said that the journey ahead was a collective one, declaring that there was no victor, no vanquished.
“We shall do it together. There is a lot to do, and there is a lot to fix, we shall do them and we shall fix them, but give me time. I have served you diligently before, and I offer to serve you again,” he said.
He is married and has children.