Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo state, says The Polytechnic, Ibadan (TPI) has refused to suspend its ongoing strike because of his administration’s decision to engage consultants in the management of revenue generated by the state-owned institutions.
In a statement by Taiwo Adisa, his chief press secretary, the governor said the consultants were engaged to promote transparency in financial activities of institutions in the state.
According to the statement, Makinde spoke shortly after inaugurating the governing council of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso.
The governor said his leadership had increased subventions for state-owned institutions from the 50 percent obtainable in the past to 100 percent on the condition that the institutions would be more transparent about their internally generated revenue (IGR).
The governor, however, said the institutions refused to comply with the directive, hence the decision to hire consultants.
“Let me also use this opportunity to talk about the lingering crisis at The Polytechnic Ibadan. Though most of the other tertiary institutions that embarked on the strike action have backed off, it is remaining only The Polytechnic Ibadan,” he said.
“The students were at the Secretariat the other day to make their grievances known and we listened to them. But I must make this very clear; we would not have got into this situation if those schools’ governing councils did their jobs transparently and honestly.
“What were the issues they were talking about? They were saying they don’t want Platinum Consultants and other things. But we had to resort to hiring consultants because of the opacity of their transactions.
“The day before the previous administration left, they moved the higher institutions’ subvention from 25 per cent to 50 per cent and from that 50 per cent, we moved it to 100 per cent. We said we would take it on because education is one of the major pillars of this administration.
“But I said to them that if we are moving on with 100 per cent subventions, you should also be open with your IGR. We watched the situation for several months and we did not hear anything about the IGR. As a result of that, we hired a consultant.”
Makinde said while his administration accommodates protest from aggrieved parties, the institutions must come to terms with the initiatives put in place to improve the system.
“We know that they [the institutions] are unwilling to accept that the old order of things is gone, but it is gone really. Well, we will be making a decision about the next steps this month but I believe anyone protesting has the right to do so,” he added.
“But it must be done with the future of the students of those institutions in mind because time is money. If they keep wasting their time, courses that they are supposed to finish in two years, because they are spending a lot of time protesting and disrupting academic activities, they (the students) will bear the brunt.”
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