Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has assured Osun State indigenes working in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso (LAUTECH), of their job security.
The National University Commission (NUC) had on Friday transferred the ownership of LAUTECH, Ogbomoso to the Oyo State Government, while the Osun State Government is to take over the College of Health Sciences in Osogbo.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, stated this at a media briefing in Abuja. The decision, however, laid to rest the ownership battle between the two states that rocked the institution for the past 10 years.
Makinde, who spoke on a radio programme in Ibadan on Saturday, said the state has been taking the full financial responsibility of the institution since the beginning of the year 2020. Funding of the university, he said, would not pose difficulty as provision had already been made for it in the 2021 appropriation bill of the state.
Makinde who said this while featuring on a radio programme in Ibadan on Saturday, said the State has been taking the full financial responsibility of the institution since the beginning of the year 2020.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission Professor Abubakar Rasheed on Friday announced that it has transferred ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology LAUTECH Ogbomoso to the Oyo State Government.
Makinde said he recently met the Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, where he implored him to let other factors apart from politics reign on the issue of the institution and the fate of the students and their lecturers which informed the agreement to cede LAUTECH to Oyo State.
His words: ‘If you have values to put on the table, you have something to contribute, you should be rest assured that nobody is going to witch-hunt anybody. There won’t be ‘Osun Must Go’. This is a university and people will come from all over the world.
‘When I became governor-elect, I visited Botswana and we are going to sign an agreement for them to collaborate with the Business School for the University of Botswana. So, some of those initiatives now can really go forward to exchange programmes for students and all of that.
‘We have an opportunity at this stage to really take the university back to what it used to be during the days of my father, (former) Governor Rashidi Ladoja. During his time, the university was adjudged the state-run best technical university in the country. We are not going to set our eyes on the national ranking, we want to see what we can do in Africa and International rankings for that school.’
On the budget, Makinde stated: ‘When we came in, we said Oyo State would fund for January to July, and Osun for the other part of the year. But for some reasons, when we came in we had to intervene and for this year 2020, Oyo State has been funding LAUTECH alone and we have appropriated enough money in the 2021 budget to continue doing this.
‘We give glory to God that we have been able to resolve the ownership issue on the LAUTECH. The issue has made our children that were supposed to spend for years in the school, to spend eight to nine years for their degree programmes. I thank my brother, the governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, for his cooperation that made us resolve the ownership issue on LAUTECH. So, let it not be heard that in LAUTECH, there is Osun Forum and Oyo Forum. There is no Osun Forum and there is no Oyo Forum. What we have is LAUTECH Forum for the development and smooth academic as well as administrative activities in the university.
‘I went to my brother, Gboyega Oyetola and I spoke to him to let us keep ego aside, I explained to him that it is a universality and it should be universal and he saw reasons with me and we give God the glory. I remember my time at UNILAG (University of Lagos), I did not even know where my lecturers hail from.
‘Now the real work has started. We have to ensure it is well funded and it contributes to the economy of Ogbomosho and Oyo State, I will go to Ogbomoso to meet with the stakeholders very soon. However, I want to plead with the lecturers that there is no Osun forum, no Oyo forum.’
On issues the issue of alimony, Makinde stated that ‘assets, liability and all of those things are part of the process to reach an agreement. What I can say is that from the standpoint of Oyo and Osun States, the process was transparent. We brought in Deloitte, an international consortium, under the watch of National University Commission, to value the assets, to value the liability and what belongs to A was given to A and what belongs to B was given to B. If you look at the valuation report, it is so huge that it took almost half of my tiny study room. So, we have shared the assets and we have signed up on that. It doesn’t matter anymore really.’