Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo state governor, says Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, should be the flagship institution of the south-west region.
The governor said it wouldn’t be a bad idea for all south-west states to have a stake in LAUTECH and collectively fund the institution whose academic and non-academic staff have been on strike for eight months over funding issues.
He said this on Friday when the Wole Olanipekun-led visitation panel submitted its report in Ibadan, Oyo.
The panel was constituted to look into and proffer solutions to the funding challenge of the university.
The governor said: “Awolowo was a realist and he saw the need to finance education while alive. He also had the resources to apply to the vision then and we all benefitted from his gesture.
“Today, oil revenue, which is the mainstay of sustaining education funding through federal allocation, had dropped.
“Oyo State that used to get N5.2billion as monthly allocation now gets as low as N2.5billion and we have to pay salaries of workers and finance social infrastructure. How do we survive that without looking inward?
“The reality on the ground requires that we look at different ways of doing things. There is need for repositioning of the university, especially on the structure. The non-resumption of academic activities after our (governors) efforts is worrying.
“LAUTECH should be the flagship of the South-West. There is nothing wrong in the whole South-West states buying into the ownership, relying on the internally-generated revenue from the school alone cannot help.”
LAUTECH was reopened by the management on January 27 after Oyo and Osun states released N500m to the institution but the staff refused to resume work.
Rauf Aregbesola, Osun state governor, who was also present at the presentation, said the financial crisis in the country was responsible for the funding challenge of LAUTECH.
“The whole situation is regrettable, but I’m of the opinion that the academic staff and students of the university are not unaware of the present financial challenges facing the states, which culminated from the drop in our monthly federal allocation.
“We are happy the panel has done a marvellous job and the next step is for the two states to put up a technical implementation committee that would work on a white paper from the visitation panel’s report,” Aregbesola said.
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