A broadcast journalist and commissioner designate in the State of Osun, Mr. Jamiu Babatunde Olawumi has stated that the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Oyo State is a joint heritage of both the Oyo and Osun State Governments and as that any distortion to the edict that created the university must pass through the two state legislatures. Mr. Olawumi stated this on Saturday morning when he appeared as a guest on a live radio interview programme on Fresh FM Ibadan. He stated that the agitation to cause disaffection between the two states was spearheaded by the Ogobomosho community who had earlier promised to cast their votes if the school would be fully funded by the Oyo State Government. Mr. Olawumi also disclosed that another problem was that LAUTECH has taken N3 billion from TetFund and the visitation panel to the school headed by Chief Wole Olanipekun had asked both owner states to pay a revitilsation fee of N1 billion each of which Osun had paid and Oyo was yet to pay adding that the N1 billion Osun paid was used for development projects in Ogbomosho only and nothing was carried out at the teaching hospital in Osogbo. The commissioner designate accused the various labour unions of causing unnecessary strife in the school adding that Osun has been responsibly meeting its quota. “The industrial unions in the university took exceptions to the decision by Osun because they knew they were going to be exposed. “ASUU is crying fowl because Osun championed the streamlining of all the accounts by the owner states. Osun state stands for good corporate governance and sanity in public office. “The rivalry between the states is being instigated so that some elements in the school can continue their shady acts. According to him, the workers in LAUTECH with access to the treasury were feeding fat because of the imbroglio between the two owner states adding that the school was not impoverished but it can stand on its own. “The two states ought to be receiving money as profit from the University instead of wasting public funds. Reasonably, LAUTECH ought to take subventions and not salaries from the government of both states. “A breakdown shows that the school has a population of 34,000 students and they each pay above N100,000 per session as school fees. Tax payers should show more concern about LAUTECH that has the potentials of turning over N3.4 billion annually which is more than the budgets of Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states combined going cap in hand to beg for salaries from its owner states. “Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State would want to know what happens to the school fees being paid by the students before putting money further and in the interim he is doing that. “The visitation panel discovered that both campuses were having 100 bank accounts. The visitation panel after the submission of its recommendation gave birth to the present Governing Council”. In breaking down how Osun has been meeting its financial commitments to the university, Olawumi maintained that from available records, till 2018, the budget of LAUTECH was jointly passed by both states Houses of Assembly. “Osun has been more responsible in the last 7 years. From 2013, it has spent N26 billion while Oyo State only spent N4 billion. In 2018, Osun paid N1.8 billion to the university becauase Oyo had abandoned its responsibility. “In 2019, the highest Oyo has paid is N295 million per month, a breakdown between January and March of N73 million each while Osun has paid N405 million. From July, Oyo State has not paid anything to LAUTECH”. The media professional called on both owner state governments to implement the recommendations of the report of the Chief Wole Olanipekun visitation panel cautioning that any agreements on the school must first pass through the two state Houses of Assembly or else it would be illegal. “LAUTECH is the only jointly owned university in the country. The poor handling of the school is frustrating the students. If the school is overstaffed, the school management should right size and let the university deliver on its mandate. Meanwhile, many citizens of the State of Osun have described the delivery of Jamiu Olawumi as apt, well articulated, fantastic, and an eye opener for them. In their reactions which continued to pour in after the interview, they called on the LAUTECH stakeholders to rise up to the occasion and implement the report of the visitation panel for LAUTECH to move forward.
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