Garlands… as LASPOTECH turns 40 – Part 2
It will be a disservice to those on whose toil and sweat the school was built and flourished to date, if their names are not mentioned in this piece. Indeed, many of the institution’s helmsmen, past and present bequeathed legacy projects, which have translated to the iconic performance of its students and the polytechnic in particular. Not a few of them suffered personal humiliation, deprivation, insult and harassment, yet, they were unbowed in their resolve to build, nurture and transform the then nascent LASPOTECH into an enviable institution that it is today in the country. The journey began with Dr. Hakeem Oseni, who served as the pioneer Principal from 1977 to 1980, followed by Mrs. A. Akinla , Principal (1981-1982); Dr. M.O Abdul, Principal ( 1982-1984); late Dr. (Mrs.) H.O. Anjonrin, Rector ( 1984- 1991); late Engr. Bola Oloro , Rector (1991-1999); Engr. Anthony Olawunmi Gasper, Rector (1999-2007); late Engr. Cosmas O. Odunaiya , Rector designate 2007; Ayodeji Babatunde Iginla, Rector (2007-2011); Dr. Abdulazeez Abioye Lawal, Rector (2011-2015) and Samuel Oluyinka Sogunro , Rector (2015 to date). The list would be incomplete without the name of one of the Fellows of the polytechnic, former military governor of Lagos State, Brigader-General Mobolaji Johnson, for his uncommon support for the institution over the years.
Without exaggerating, the polytechnic has benefitted immensely from the wealth of experience of seasoned academia and administrators, appointed as Chairmen of Governing Council. These men of impeccable character and honour include the pathfinder, Justice L. J. Dosunmu, (1977 – 1979); Alhaji H. A. Hakeem Habeeb, (1979 – 1981); Engr. O. .A Babayeju, (1983 – 1984); Prof. N. O. Adedipe, (1985 – 1987); Engr. F. O. Santos; (1988 – 1990); Prof. Kunle Ade-Wahab; (1990 – 1992); Engr. (Dr.) Femi Anibaba; (1992 – 1994); Engr. Ranti Adewale, (1994 – 1999); Prof. Olubode Leigh, (1999 – 2006); Prof. Olumide Ajose; (2006 – 2012) and Prof. Tajudeen G. O. Gbadamosi, (2015 to date)
Several employees of the institution have also contributed immensely to the growth of the polytechnic through their dedication to work, loyalty and diligence through the years. It is against this backdrop that the management, in appreciation of contributions by all employees, has deemed it gratifying to honour 752 of them with long service/meritorious awards, as part of the programmes scheduled for the ongoing anniversary.
Like a dutiful shepherd that looks after his sheep diligently, the state government has continued to look after LASPOTECH and ensured its sustenance and growth over the years. The supports including prompt payment of salaries, statutory allocations and accreditation of all programmes have made LASPOTECH the best state polytechnic in everything, so much so that other state-owned polytechnics in the country are exchanging notes with its management on how to run a 21st century polytechnic. It is for these various supports and interventions that the Lagos State Government deserves praises for living up to its responsibilities as Moderator of the institution.
Away from the relatively impressive strides of LASPOTECH, it has become compelling to overhaul decrepit infrastructure and facilities at the three campuses. Some of these facilities, particularly those inherited from the defunct School of Agriculture in Ikorodu campus should be given facelift and modern touch. It would be delusional to think that the management and state government could do this alone; No. A number of interventions have been done in the polytechnic in recent times by the alumni association and their efforts are commendable. However, as one of the strategic stakeholders of the polytechnic, it would not be out of place to ask the association to offer more interventions by carrying out more developmental projects in the institution.
Foreign and local companies can also help to engender development of the institution by partnering LASPOTECH to boost their operations, specific capacity building, equipment sourcing and fabrication as well as content generation for service providers, which in turn would boost commerce and the country’s economy. For instance, a number of equipment and devices including palm oil processing plant, break wear sensor on automobile, multi-purpose juice extractor, multi-purpose threshing, shelling and cleaning machine plate mill, urine powered generator, pneumatic can crusher, robotic hand, water level controller, electronic c-caution, scrolling light display and intelligent traffic light were fabricated and invented by academic trainers in the institution. Companies or organisations in need of these equipment or similar devices have the opportunity to approach the polytechnic for mass production of their specific equipment thereby saving a lot of hard currency that could have been used to import the equipment from western countries.
Realising that the polytechnic is open to a mutually beneficial developmental partnerships, the Federal Government recently took advantage of the institution’s large expanse of land (500 hectares) by building the National Emission Centre within the polytechnic, making it the first in the South West region of the country. Other private and public organisations can emulate this by siting their strategic infrastructure within the polytechnic, as this would help in no small measure to further grow the institution and the companies too.
At 40, LASPOTECH has achieved so much and this is the reason why the management deserves garlands. This landmark anniversary without doubt will make an encore as the journey towards the golden celebration begins from now on.
Kuye is deputy registrar, Public Relations and Information, Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu.