The Management of the Federal Polytechnic Offa has noticed with dismay a false publication by an online news blog, the Daily Post of Wednesday 27th November, 2019 written by Ishola Oludare and entitled “NANS accuses Offa Poly Rector of increasing tuition, introducing illegal fees.”
The publication is not only malicious and false in all material facts but it was also written with the intention to slander and tarnish the good image of the Polytechnic. The truth is that the Polytechnic has not in recent past increased school fees as claimed by the writer. In actual fact, tuition is free at The Federal Polytechnic Offa. The chargeable fees paid by students are for essential items and services that are crucial to their studies. More so, a comparative analysis of chargeable fees in other federal polytechnics in the south west and north central still reveals that the Federal Polytechnic Offa charges the least fees.
The so-called NANS National Public Relations Officer, Azeez Adeyemi claims that the Rector “had imposed some needless fees on the students” is not only fallacious but a calculated attempt by the writer to disparage and cast aspersion on the good work and efforts of the Rector to take the Polytechnic to the zenith of academic excellence. How would NANS describe sports fee, medical examination fee (for new students only), Entrepreneurship Development and internet access fee as needless with the present situation in the country where higher institutions are responsible for the administrative running of their institutions. Are they oblivious of these realities?
The assertion that the national body of NANS received complaints from students of the Federal Polytechnic Offa is not only untrue but false. When Entrepreneurship Development fee was introduced years ago, the Students’ Union negotiated and agreed on the fee and likewise the internet fees which was even at the instance and request of the students so as to enable them to be connected on the school wide internet network at both the mini and main campuses of the Polytechnic.
It is equally unfair and uncharitable of NANS to have attacked the personality of the Dean, Directorate of Students’ Affairs, Mr. E. O. Aleminu, a dedicated, dogged and hardworking personality. It is pertinent to state that at the Federal Polytechnic Offa, no individual single handedly takes decision, the Academic Board, Management Committee, and Governing Council are vested with the responsibility of taking decisions concerning the academic and general administration of the Institution.
We wish to also state unequivocally that the writer got in touch with the Director of Information and Public Relations only through a text message and he responded spontaneously by putting a call back to the writer to debunk all the allegations as contained in the publication. That he chose to ignore the rebuttal or conduct independent investigation to ascertain the facts remain befuddling.
We want to appeal to NANS to steer clear of The Federal Polytechnic Offa. The students of this polytechnic will no doubt resist any attempt by any individual or group acting under whatever guise to truncate the academic calendar, and the peace and tranquility of this great institution. The so called NANS official and his cohorts are therefore enjoined not to plunge our polytechnic into crisis.
We want to place on record that since the administration of the present Rector, Dr. L.A Olatunji, incessant agitations and unrest by the students has been laid to rest in replacement with ‘aluta with maturity’ and dialogue because of his open door policy, frequent dialogue and fatherly attitude. The Rector has also further created an enabling and conducive environment for both teaching and learning. To further lend credence to the Rector’s humane leadership and magnanimity to the students, he was honoured by the same National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) as the “Most Outstanding Rector” in January 2018.
The Polytechnic was by the last pilot ranking of all polytechnics in Nigeria ranked 8th position, which demonstrates and indicates that the council and management of the polytechnic are fully committed to ensuring quality education for the students both in character and learning.