The Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education has said that there were infractions in the selection of principal officers for six Colleges of Education as announced recently by the Federal Ministry of Education.
Danladi Msheliza, President of the union, said in a statement made available to newsmen, in Abuja, on Sunday, that 90 per cent of the appointees did not meet the requirements for appointment as principal officers in a COE.
It would be recalled that the ministry of education, in a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Ben Goong, on April 8, announced the appointments of the principal officers of the COE.
They are COE, Iwo, Osun State; COE Gidan Madi, Sokoto State, COE Odugbo, Benue State, COE Jama’are, Bauchi State, COE Isu, Ebonyi State and COE Ekiadolor, Edo State.
Msheliza said that most of the appointees were either from the core civil service, private sector or other sectors, outside the COE system.
According to him, this was contrary to the provisions of the requirements for the appointment of principal officers in COE, as contained in the Revised Conditions of Service for Colleges of Education (2015 Edition), and the Act establishing Federal Colleges of Education in the country.
“SSUCOEN and indeed other Nigerians received the news of the approval for the establishment of six new Federal Colleges of Education by President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration with joy.
“This was seen as a demonstration of love and commitment by government towards the development of teacher education in Nigeria.
“Stakeholders were confident that this action will create more access to quality education, especially by the locals where these colleges are situated.
“While we sincerely appreciate the President and the minister for selecting one of our own, we wish to state, however, that having gone through the list of the other appointees, we discovered startling revelations which is of serious concern and capable of being counterproductive and unhealthy to the subsector.”
Msheliza added that since the governing councils of the institutions had been constituted, it was, however, within their powers to appoint principal officers, as provided for in the Act establishing the institutions.
“One could not help but wonder why the ministry rushed to appoint principal officers for the six newly established Federal COE.
“This is without recourse to the requirements for appointment into such important positions, especially that councils were on ground. Had council not been constituted, it would have been well understood.
“Appointment of principal officers of any College of Education, by any other person or group, other than its Governing Council, amounts to illegality and usurpation of the powers of the Council.
“The Act establishing Federal Colleges of Education expressly states that “the Council of each COE shall appoint a Registrar, Bursar, Librarian to such College,” upon satisfactory performance and subject to meeting the requirements for appointment into such office(s).
“It is equally the duty of Council to recommend candidates for appointment as Provost, by the President,” he said.
He, therefore, prayed that the Federal Government would set aside the appointments of the other Provosts and Principal Officers because their appointments did not meet the requirements for such offices.
He said that doing otherwise would amount to setting a bad precedence and serve as disservice to Nigeria and the COE sector in particular.
The union leader also urged that the criteria for appointment of Principal Officers in COE were followed and met by aspiring candidates.
Msheliza said that failure to adhere to rules and regulations would force the union to initiate actions that would challenge the observed infractions, in line with the Conditions of Service for colleges of education.