BREAKING NEWS

ROUND UP: Five Instances Where Joint Ownership Of LAUTECH Affected Stable Academic Calendar


Prior to the development's news, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, has been in the news for negative reasons. At the centre of this mess are Oyo and Osun states.


LAUTECH was established in 1990 to provide a liberal higher education and foster advancement of learning throughout Nigeria. But for the past few years, the institution that was adjudged the best state university by NUC for two consecutive years (2003 & 2004) has provided nothing of such. 


The ownership of the institution, has always been a source of misunderstanding between the two-owner states of Oyo and Osun. The government of the former state want the full ownership of the institution be transfered to it while the latter disagrees. The disagreement intensifies under the regime of ex-while governors, Alao-Akala of Oyo state and Olagunsoye Oyinlola of Osun state.


The owners are, also, at loggerhead as to who has failed in its obligations to adequately fund the institution.


     How the joint business all started


A document by the Osun State government titled, ‘The quest by Oyo State to take LAUTECH by force, dated July 28, 2010, stated that Osun State cherished the brotherly bonds between the people of the two states just as it loved the memories of the founding fathers of LAUTECH.


The document dug into the history of the institution by revealing that Professor Ojetunji Aboyade, a reputable indegene of Oyo State, who headed the Governing Council of the university had made a strong case for the joint ownership of the university in 1993. He had warned that an attempt to run the university alone “is messy and should be avoided. How does one decide the value of how much Oyo State should compensate Osun State? What about the established goodwill?”


Following this, a consensus was reached at a meeting between the pioneer Military Administrator of Osun, then Col. Leo Ajiborisha and his Oyo State counterpart, then Col. Abdulkarim Adisa, on November 25, 1991 that the university be owned jointly.


A letter signed by the then tmilitary governor of Oyo State, Col. Adisa, dated November 26, 1991, addressed to the university council said: “That the two governments have accepted joint proprietorship of OSUTECH (now LAUTECH) between Oyo and Osun states including any constituent states that may result therefrom later.


“The two states will jointly fund OSUTECH in the ratio of equality of states that is 50/50, and, funds will be so directly released to university council  accordingly. In this end, the university is to submit its budget to the component states for inclusion into the states’ budgets.”


“Name of the unversity: The two governments agreed that the name of the university be changed to ‘Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso’.”


The letter stressed that it was agreed that students’ placement in the university should be on 50/50 ratio to the proprietor states.


    LAUTECH And Crises


The joint ownership of LAUTECH has brought nothing but less development to the institution. Both states were always pointing accusing fingers at each other, while students and staffs are at the receiving end of poor management.


Whilst Oyo state want full ownership, Osun state has constantly refused to cede to the request. Why Osun State refused to transfer ownership of LAUTECH to Oyo state for the purpose of peace and advancements was not clear?


However, the disagreement between the two parties had made the university unable to pay salary arrears. Academic calenders were been altered on numerous occasions. No serious research works were carried out. At some points, parents have lost hope in the institution.


Between 2014 and 2019, LAUTECH went on lengthy strikes on countless occasions. On June 13 2016, the Academic staff union of the institution went on strike which a period of 9 months. Activities was grounded as a result of agitations of staffs birthed because of lack of cohesion between the two-owner states. Students of the institution were left with no option than to spend those precious months at home excruciating bitterly.


Barely 3 months after the strike was called off, on May 6 2017, the institution also proceeded on yet again another industrial action.


Also, on August 8, the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology on commenced a two-weeks warning strike due to poor funding of the University by the owner states government.


The Union in a statement issued after its congress said LAUTECH chapter of the union has gotten approval to embark on the said warning strike from the national body of the union.


It said despite the Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed with the union and the Governing Council (GC) of the University after its eight months old strike last year, government of the two states reneged on fulfilling their own part of the deal.


    Oyo take over of LAUTECH; What it means


On Friday, Novemver 20, 2020, the ownership crisis of Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology (LAUTECH) was resolved.


National Universities Commission (NUC) announced that Oyo state government will now take full ownership of the institution while  College of Health Sciences located in Osogbo was ceded to Osun.


The mutually agreed dissolution was formalised through the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MoA) by Oyo and Osun Governors.


Consequently, relevant stakeholders have been clamoring for this long overdue dissolution for quite a long time. Many believe the joint ownership was not the best option for the institution.


Now that Oyo state has taken full ownership, people would be eager to see visible changes as a matter of urgency 


For avoidance of doubt and to show its commitment towards the development of the institution, the government of Oyo state would need to roll out funds for the institution. Failure to quickly do this will further cause havoc to already damaged situation.

  

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