Crisis looms over appointment of Registrar, College of Education, Mosogar

Imminent crisis looms as Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) and Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education, Nigeria (SSUCOEN) in Delta State College of Education, Mosogar, have appealed to the Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon. (Elder) Sheriff Oborevwori, to interven  on alleged plan to appoint a Registrar for the college.

The Unions allege that the Governing Council Chairman, Hon. Lovette Idisi, and the Commissioner for Higher Education, Professor Johnbull Tonukari, have violated the prescribed minimum standards for the appointment of Registrar, stressing that if urgent steps are not taken to arrests the situation, it may degenerate to crisis.

The union in the open letter to the governor, the Unions congratulate the Governor on his recent victory at the election tribunal and express their appreciation for his positive impact on the welfare of workers in the state. However, they highlight the illegality and injustice being perpetuated by the College Governing Council Chairman and the Commissioner for Higher Education in the process of appointing a Registrar.

According to the Unions, the advertisement for the position of Registrar in the Pointer newspaper did not meet the minimum standards prescribed by the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), the regulatory body for Colleges of Education in Nigeria. The Unions point out that the NCCE-approved scheme of service requires a Master’s degree as a requirement for promotion to CONTEDISS (GL) 15 and appointment to the position of College Registrar on CONTEDISS 16.

Furthermore, the Unions state that the minimum standard of a Master’s degree has been applied in Delta State since 2019, resulting in the stagnation of over a hundred staff on CONTEDISS 14. Despite raising their concerns in several letters and meetings with the Governing Council Chairman and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, the Unions received no feedback or resolution.

As a result, the Unions declared an indefinite strike on September 15, 2023, to draw attention to the issue. The newly sworn-in Commissioner for Higher Education, Professor Johnbull N. Tonukari, called for a meeting with the Unions and College Management on September 18, 2023, to resolve the issues. The Commissioner requested a two-week suspension of the strike action to study the NCCE minimum standards, which the Unions agreed to.

However, in a reconvened meeting on September 28, 2023, the Commissioner disappointed the Unions by supporting the Council Chairman’s decision to allow the substandard publication for the Registrar position to stand. The Unions allege that this decision was influenced by Chief Ighoyota Amori, a political godfather, and the Council Chairman, Hon. Lovette Idisi. They argue that the interference of Chief Amori and the Council Chairman raises questions about the ownership of the College.

The Unions recall a similar incident during the appointment of the College Provost, which was resolved by the then Commissioner for Higher Education, Professor Patrick Muoboghare, who directed a re-advertisement in line with the requirements of the NCCE. The Unions call on the State Government to save the College from underdevelopment and total collapse by addressing the process and dissolving the Governing Council.

In their prayers, the Unions request the Governor to instruct the Governing Council Chairman to withdraw and correct the substandard advertisement for the Registrar position within 48 hours in line with the NCCE minimum standards. They also call for the removal of the Commissioner for Higher Education, citing his insincerity and inability to handle straightforward issues. Lastly, the Unions request the dissolution of the College Governing Council, which they believe has failed to add value to the College.

The open letter was signed by Com Richard O. Igbunu, Chairman of COEASU (Mosogar Chapter), Com Origho Ovie, Chairman of SSUCOEN (Mosogar Chapter), and their secretaries

Com Erikpokpo Joseph, Chairman of SSUCOEN (Warri), Com Origho Ovie, Chairman of SSUCOEN (Mosogar Chapter), and flanked by excos from the Warri Chapter of the union. The Unions hope that their concerns will be addressed to avoid the closure of the institution and the resulting hardship for students and Deltans.

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