From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola have agreed to an irrevocable commitment on joint ownership of the institution in accordance with its Act.
The two states resolved after a four-hour meeting by the two visitors to the institution – in Ajimobi’s office, on Wednesday evening.
The meeting was also attended by the deputy governors of the two states, Otunba Moses Adeyemo (Oyo) and Mrs Titi Laoye-Tomori (Osun) as well as senior government officials from the two states.
Recently, LAUTECH had been faced with the challenges of funding, which led to its closure since June.
Earlier, the owners attributed challenges facing the institution to paucity of funds as a result of dwindling allocations from the Federation Account, due to the crash in the price of crude oil in the international market.
Addressing newsmen after the meeting, Ajimobi, who was flanked by Aregbesola, announced that the two owner states resolved to set up a Visitation Panel for amicable resolution of the ownership crisis.
Ajimobi announced the setting up of an-eight member panel, to be headed by former Ppresident of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).
The panel, according to Ajimobi, will be saddled with the responsibility of reviewing current terms of engagement between the two states with a view to consolidating joint-ownership, an audit of LAUTECH’s sources and application of funds as well as propose strategies for the overall improvement in its quality of education and service delivery
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in Oyo state, Mrs. Aderonke Makanjuola, will serve as secretary of the panel.
Other members are Mr. Rasheed Afolabi (Osun), Prof.Akinola (Osun), Prof. Sola Fajana (Osun), Dr. Tunji Olaopa (Oyo), Prof. Ayo Salami (Oyo) and Mr. S. A. Raji (Oyo). “We have both agreed on the necessity for a comprehensive restructuring of the institution to ensure fair and effective development.
“We also agreed on the distribution of academic resources, physical structures and other assets of the university across the two states to achieve national, regional and global reckoning,” Ajimobi said.
The meeting, the Oyo state governor disclosed, regretted current challenges of funding and management confronting the institution and restated commitment to moving the institution forward. In view of the historical affinity and long relationship between the two states of Oyo and Osun, the meeting resolved to re-dedicate all efforts towards the development of mutually beneficial goals that will further cement the bond of friendship and brotherhood between them
“As brothers, sisters and family members of the same Yoruba ancestry, the meeting agreed that this should be a time of consolidation between the states, rather than a time of fragmentation. The meeting also agreed on the necessity for a comprehensive restructuring of the institution to ensure fair and effective development and distribution of academic resources, physical structures and other assets of the university across the two states to achieve national, regional and global reckoning.
“The meeting appealed to the academic staff, who are currently on industrial action to resume academic activities while amicable and sustainable solutions are being worked out to sort out their grievances.
“It enjoined residents of the two states as well as other stakeholders including students, teachers and workers to go about their lawful duties and to resist any temptation to take the laws into their hands, warning that anyone or group that does otherwise will face the full wrath of the law.”