The National President of Federal Polytechnic Ede Alumni Association, Comrade Shittu B. Olaleye speaks with Apagunpote Olayimika Chocomilo, publisher of Fulcrum Times Nigeria about his early childhood, vital issues about Alumni association and the Polytechnic community at large.
Can we meet you sir?
My name is Shittu, Bashir Olaleye, the current National President of Federal Polytechnic Ede Alumni Association. I am one of the pioneer students of this great institution and had my National Diploma (ND) in Secretarial Studies between 1993 and 1994 and Higher National Diploma (HND) in the same department between 1997 and 1998. I also acquired masters degree (MSC) in Managerial Psychology (MMP) from the prestigious University of Ibadan in 2006.
Prior to my current position as the National President, I was Secretary to pioneer Students Representative Council (SRC) between 1993-1994 before it later metamorphosed to Students Union. I was a former President of Rotract Club, Federal Polytechnic Ede chapter and former Secretary, Alumni Steering Committee. This Commitee was set up to reconcile the friction between factions in the Alumni back in 2009 before we now have an all-inclusive alumni association. I was also the immediate general secretary of Alumni Association to mention just a few.
Can we have a peep into your background?
I hail from Ogbomoso and was born on 26th April in the early 70’s to the family of Late Shittu Olaleye Ajelonibawi and Late Alhaja Khadijat Shittu Ajelonibawi. I had my primary education at St. Davids Primary School, Agbonyin, Ogbomoso, Oyo State and finished in 1981. I completed my secondary education at Anglican Grammar School, Ogbomoso, Oyo State (AGS) in 1986. Between 1988 and 1999, I worked at the then Saint Andrew’s College of Education, Oyo where I started as Typist II (GL. 05) and rose to the position of Senior Confidential Secretary (USS 11) before i retired in 1999 having spent 11 years in service.
I was granted study leave with pay to pursue my national diploma(ND) and after full completion with respect to the agreement, I applied for study leave without pay to pursue my Higher National Diploma (HND) which I completed in 1998. I resumed back to work after my Higher National Diploma (HND) and I had to retire so that I can participate in the NYSC scheme between 1999 and 2000. I was posted to Bauchi State where I had the three weeks orientation Camp at Wailo and I was later deployed to Itas-Gadau Local Government where I only spent two months before redeployed to Osun State and completed my service in 2000 at Ede North Local Govt in the Works department.
Can you tell us more about your profession or probably where you have worked?
Based on my educational background as a trained and professional Secretary, I started my post qualification career after my NYSC programme in 2000 with Guaranty Trust Bank. As a secretary to AGM Financial Control, I was opportuned to have a brief stay at Fidelity Bank Plc and also served as Secretary for two months before I joined defunct City Express Bank Plc where I spent about six (6) years as Secretary to the Company Secretary and Legal Adviser.
I joined Etisalat-Nigeria as Executive Secretary in May 2008 and served the first three CIOs (Chief Information Officer) before I was transferred as Executive Assistant to core IT section as Analyst in Financial Control and Assets Management after satisfying the requirements of some core professional exams such as ITIL. V3 Foundation and intermediate IT Strategy. I left Etisalat-Nigeria for Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited in 2014 under managed service (ITO). I am currently manging Contracts and Vendors under ITO Project since 2014 till date.
You are a trained Secretary. How do you apply this to your role as the national president, Federal Polytechnic Ede Alumni Association?
(Smiles)…nice question. Asides from being trained as a professional secretary, I have consistently been attached to Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) where the least among them is Assistant General Manager (AGM). I have over the time acquired wide administrative and leadership qualities from all these men of great personalities and prominence while some of these great men are foreigners. As you are well aware, the function of professional secretary is indispensable especially at the level of chief Executive Officers where I have gained good management skills of both human and materials resources, and this has earned me lots of experiences in all these organizations.
I have used all experiences garned over the years to pilot the affairs of the association. Managing and taking control of offices in the absence of the executives has sharpened my leadership horizon asides from the fact that as a good secretary, one should have the repository of information of that office, and this has really helped and also helping in the steering of the administrative affairs of alumni association.
Have you ever served in any leadership capacity before your election into office as the national president of Federal Polytechnic Ede Alumni Association?
Yes, and definitely right from my very beginning. I was Secretary of NASU (Non Academic Staff Union) at St. Andrew’s College of education, Oyo between 1989 and 1994. I was the pioneer Secretary of Students Representative Council (SRC) in The Federal Polytechnic Ede. I served as the Director of Community Service; Rotaract, Federal Polytechnic Ede in 1996, President of Rotaract Club, Federal Polytechnic Ede in 1997/1998. I also served as President of All Nigerian Rotaractors at WAILO CAMP in Bauchi in 1999 where we donated some educational materials as our community service project commissioned by NYSC State Coordinator, and in fact that was my connecting link to the State Director that aided my redeployment.
I have served as Director of Protocols in Federation of Ogbomoso Students Union(FOGSU), 1994. I have acted in the capacity of the Chairman, Alhaqq Islamic Society of Nigeria, Lagos, a registered organization between 2002 and 2006. I was the General Secretary, FPE Alumni Association between 2011 and 2016. I served mertiously as Director of Finance, Jamaat Darussalam Organisation of Nigeria, between 2006 and 2010, Charter Secretary and Director of Membership of Rotary Club of Isolo Golden (District 9110-Nigeria) and at the moment Lagos State Chairman of Jamaat Darussalam Organization of Nigeria and many more. I am not a mere accident of leadership positions.
What leadership experience did you bring into this office?
Leadership experience of service to humanity, influencing a positive change, good coordination and service delivery, accountability.
How many years have you spent in office as the National President of Federal Polytechnic Ede Alumni Association?
Almost 3years in office. Our tenure will end on the 15th April, 2019 and another election will be organised.
That means every elected office holder spends 3years in office?
Yes, but took effect from 2016 when we came on board.
Can you confidently tell us if you have performed better than your predecessors?
I do not like to boast but I can only say that I have multiplied efforts and we have recorded resounding success and achievements. My predecessors also have landmark achievements and impacts since administration is a continuous process. But this administration has really brought Alumni Association to the limelight of members.
Can you share with us some achievements your administration recorded?
I can say that this administration is encapsulated in the four (4) thematic areas we have adopted and they are namely; established structured Alumni Association with corporate governance, creation and improvement of database and web-presence, enhancement of members welfare and engagement and contribution to the infrastructural upgrade and development of our great institution.
As an Alumni Body, we have always clamoured for the inclusion of the association into the authorities of the school. One of the many agitations I met on ground and sustained it. Now, the national president of the Alumni association has not only been included in the membership list of governing council but we have also recieved a letter that the Alumni President is now a board member of The Federal Polytechnic Ede, Advancement and Linkages Board. This is one of the many giant strides achievements we have recorded as an administration.
As a team of working and dedicated great men and women, we have successfully created a website whereby members can have access to updated informations. We have established very good relationship with the management whereby the Alumni association has been given due recognition through allocation of makeshift or temporary office to be used secretariat located at Oyinlola Hall. Allocation of about three (3) acres of land to the Alumni Association at South campus for the construction of our permanent and proposed Alumni Hall of Fame and we have successfully negotiated for the release of Alumni Association funds to the tune of about N8.1 million. We have donated 200 units of ceiling fans into the classrooms on campus. We have donated sporting and recreational facilities to the students union body. A cheque of N500,000 was issued in support of a student (Atewojoye) who was diagonized for heart surgery at UCH, Ibadan.
We have introduced Annual Entreprenuerial Seminar for our graduating students where students expose themselves to realities and challenges after campus life. We have bridged the link between the old students and the existing ones where some customized educational materials were designed and equally distributed across classrooms through Heads of Department and Class Representatives. We renovated the moribound Alumni toilet built by the first administration into modern and state of the art type with modern facilities and better illumination. We have constructed a fencing project worth millions of naira around the female hostel at South Campus and this was commissioned by the current Chairman of Governing Council of the institution.
How do you resolve the issues of funds with the management? Past administrations have always complained bitterly about non-release of Alumni funds by the management.
This is part of our negotiation strategies, even though management initially claimed that Alumni dues were not received from students but instead the fund collected was developmental fees, and unfortunately there was no receipt from any students to confirm the payment of Alumni dues.
In view of this, the current administration therefore requested for the direct collection of Alumni subscriptions from the students into the coffers of Alumni bank account. This approval was given and it took effect from 1st of December, 2016 yet it does not happen sacrifice which is reduction of the initial N2,000 which the previous Governing Council approved to N1,500.
Now, based on this new development, Alumni association has printed a customized receipt that bears her name and the payment of Alumni fees is now directly into the account of the association without passing through the management of the institution.
Do you have plans to contest for second term in office?
Do you think that you have performed brilliantly well in your first term to deserve a second term?
Few years ago, National Bureau of statistics released a report that Nigeria institutions produce 1.6million graduates every year and the government has no capacity to provide more than 100,000 per year. The sad story is many students leave school and join the colony of unemployed ones. What is your administration doing to assist graduates of the Polytechnic who are members of this colony of unemployed ones?
The administration has seen this as a gap that has to be bridged, therefore our focus in this area is to introduce entrepreneurial seminars where we aimed to prepare the final years students for the labour market, equip with basic skills they would require to survive in our economy that is stricken by scarce job opportunities, inculcate the leadership and administrative exposure to the polytechnic products and to give those with entreprenuerial inclination a platform to harness this skills. We have demonstrated this in the maiden edition of our entreprenuerial seminar held in August 2016 with the theme “Promoting entreprenuerial mindset and enhance career choice and development”. In addition, the administration also plans to design entreprenuership scholarship to any of the leading entreprenuerial schools based on established relationship with the likes of FATE foundation, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Lagos Business School, etc.
Do you have new plans you want to execute or consolidate ready efforts in your second term in office?
Yes, there are lots of strategic plans for second terms such as introduction of annual scholarship to the overall best students in every school/faculty, register the reviewed Alumni Constitution with CAC, introduction of long term/tenure project, that is the development of long term standalone capital project especially the identified Alumni Hall of Fame, introduction of Annual Public Lecture within Ede community with the target audience such as Landlord associations, road transporters and traders e.t.c With a view enhancing harmonious relationship between our students and host community, we also plan to introduce group exchange programme by leveraging on our members in diaspora, to initiate and coordinate endowment fund and fund-raising acitivities towards the physical development plan of the institution among others.
What are your chances of winning in the next election?
We will present what we have achieved and showcase what we intend to do more for the benefit of our members and institution at large. The, we will do our best and leave the rest to the Almighty God to perfect the rest for us.
As a contractor and manager of a reputable firm who manages work with leadership position of Alumni association, I am forced to ask if you normally have time to rest?
Yeah. Both responsibilities are very germane and herculian tasks but with proper planning this is going hand in hand, we will resolve it. Although, by virtue of the fact that I am the National President who sits at the position of decision making, I have also been leveraging on the experience of my team members in both places. Time to rest? To be frank, I rest but not as much as I would have loved to.
How do you relax?
By engaging into some sporting activities like table tennis over the weekends and possibly sleep.
Thanks for your time and attention. I really appreciate your patience and understanding. Hope you will graciously give us attention next time sir?
Yes of course.