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Fadeyi Oluwaseun
Ladoke Akintola University Ogbomosho
B.tech Marketing Management
Graduate, Nigeria.

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, which depends on scarce remittances from its two proprietors – Oyo and Osun state governments – has been engulfed in crises that have badly affected its academic activities over the years.

#LAUTECH was said to be facing financial stress that eventually led to leadership and labour unrest with unions consistently downing tools. In November 2019, academic personnel issued a strike ultimatum over nonpayment of salaries.

However, by all accounts, the stakeholders are said to be about to end the long-term crises rocking the university as Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has assured that the state was ready to take up ownership of the institution after reaching agreement with Osun State.

The governor has said in his twitter account on November 26, 2019 that “We believe our proposal for sole ownership for LAUTECH is the solution the university needs. I reiterated that this was not a rejection of Osun State people as our brothers and sisters but a pragmatic solution as Oyo State is financially prepared to shoulder the responsibility.”

This indicates that the state would be responsible for the university’s achievement and debts after the deal on ownership is finalised.

The move is likely to bring about new structures and measures that would keep peace among the opposing sides and birth an uninterrupted academic calendar.

Speaking on a radio station, Makinde hinted that his government was in talks with Osun State Government to assume ownership of LAUTECH, adding that a committee has been set up to ensure smooth transition.

“The term of reference is clear; to get a ‘divorce’ from Osun State regarding ownership. I believe the members of the committee are up to the task. We are not being unreasonable; we are negotiating with Osun on this. Not making unreasonable demands,” he explained.

“Our stand on LAUTECH is in the interest of the parents, students and staff. We were given an overwhelming mandate by the people of Oyo State both in the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections, so we cannot claim lack of political will,” he said.

The chairman of the committee, Prof Deji Omole, said the assignment given to his committee by the state government would receive the fairest decision and that the final report would determine whether or not the plan was a welcome development or not.

A top member of the university management who craved for anonymity told Daily Trust that many of the staff members were in support of the move because joint ownership was the cause of the crises over the years.

He said the whole idea by the state would bring academic stability and progress within the university community.

“Kudos to the Oyo State Government and to the governor; the most important thing is our welfare but we believe if a state takes over the school, there will be improvement,” he said.

A former president of the student union government of the institution, Comrade Bakare Solace Olatunde, said transferring ownership of the university to Oyo State, which was willing to shoulder the responsibility, was a welcome development, “provided the state government can afford it.”

Also, a former student of the institution, Adeoye Adeniyi, described the development as good news for the students, staff and old students.

“If you look at it very well, you will see that the negligence of one party in the past is responsible for numerous crises in the school over the years. But if a state takes up the responsibility, there will be a revolution in terms of payment of salaries,” he said.

Some students of the institution who spoke with our correspondent said that the dual ownership of the school was the major challenge inhibiting effective management, and that the plan to handover the ownership to one state would lead to efficient management and high expectations for both staff and students.

Source: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/high-expectations-as-oyo-awaits-deal-on-lautech.html

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