Oyo Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Dahud Sangodoyin has expressed the determination of the Governor Seyi Makinde led state government to take over the sole ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, in the nearest future.
According to a report by the Nigerian Tribune, Sangodoyin gave this assertion when staff members of LAUTECH of Oyo state origin, embarked on a protest to Oyo governor’s office to demand that Oyo severs from Osun in joint ownership of LAUTECH.
Affirming the resolve of the state government, Sangodoyin said Makinde had reached out to influential personalities in Oyo and Osun to facilitate Oyo state becoming the sole owner of LAUTECH.
He said the resolve of the Makinde government to takeover LAUTECH was informed by the continued neglect of Osun state government in funding LAUTECH and the urgent need to prevent a collapse of the institution.
Though he noted that the state government owed about N4billion, he said this was lesser than Osun state which owed about N7billion.
“We know that the two states are owing but ours is lesser. This year, we have paid our dues to LAUTECH. Everybody around the world knows that the institution serves clinical and teaching purpose, but if they (Osun) are neglecting the teaching aspect over time, the whole system will collapse.
“Our aim as the government of Oyo state is to take over ownership of LAUTECH. The governor has reached out to eminent personalities in the two states and LAUTECH will be owned by Oyo state finally. Not too long the issues will be addressed and everyone will be happy. We are working to ensure our legacy, LAUTECH, will not collapse. Give us some time to address the issue holistically and you will be happy,” Sangodoyin said.
Earlier, leader of the protesting Oyo indigenes, Mr Adeniyi Adediran hinged its call on Oyo state to takeover LAUTECH on the non-commitment of the Osun state government to fund the institution.
Adediran argued that while Oyo had been trying to liquidate its debts, Osun state’s response had remained nonavailability of funds.
“We have not been paid for the last 10 months. Oyo owes LAUTECH over N4billion while Osun owes over N7billion. Oyo tries to liquidate its debts, but Osun is not responding. Hence, we want Osun state to sever from the joint ownership and we want Oyo state to be the sole owner. LAUTECH is located on the land of Oyo state and Osun government will always complain of not having funds, so we want Oyo to be the sole owner of LAUTECH,” Adediran said.
Other protesting staff to include Afolabi Ogunsola and Grace Bello, accused the Osun state government of insincerity in the payment of subvention, urging that the Oyo and Osun marriage be divorced.
Bello particularly decried the call by the Osun state government that school fees be used to pay salaries as evidence that the Osun government was not committed to the funding of the institution.
Meanwhile, National President, LAUTECH Alumni Association, Solomon Onilede has appealed for calm and cautioned against any attempt by any member of staff to attack or harass fellow staffers.
Noting that the institution could not tolerate disruption in academic activities, Onilede said it had planned a meeting with the Osun and Oyo state governors to resolve the lingering issues.