Oyo State House of Assembly has described the resolve of the state government to stop giving subventions to state-owned tertiary institutions as contravening the 2016 budgetary allocation of 75 per cent subventions to the institutions.
The Assembly on a “Matter of Urgent Public Importance” raised by Chairman, House Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Honourable Afeez Adeleke, on Thursday, therefore, urged Governor Abiola Ajimobi to restore the allocation of 75 per cent subvention to tertiary institutions, as contained in the budget.
In his presentation, Adeleke said such review should rather be gradual so that government would not be regarded as shying away from its statutory responsibility of funding education.
While recognising the current financial crisis in the state, he said government had to be cautious in such review in view of the fact that some of those institutions were at their infancy state and not buoyant.
Contributing, Honourable Joshua Oyebamiji, representing Akinyele 1 constituency, urged the state executive council to consider the negative effect of such subvention removal on staff and students.
Chairman, Parliamentary council, Honourable Segun Ajanaku, noted that such decision would jeopardise the education sector, pointing out that some newly approved schools like College of Education, Lanlate, took off without grants.
Member representing Atiba constituency, Honourable Gbenga Oyekola, advocated an explanation from the Ministry of Finance and Budget, from which the circular to the heads of tertiary institutions on the stoppage of subventions emanated.
Meanwhile, Oyo State government has described statements credited to a group called Joint Action Forum of All Tertiary Institutions (JAFAS), as preemptive, stating that government has not made policy pronouncements on some of the issues raised.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, the state government said that reduction in subventions to tertiary institutions in the state was discussed with the head of the institutions, stressing that, government is still consulting with them to achieve a seamless education calendar for tertiary institutions in the state.
Arulogun said that it was surprising that the so-called group, JAFAS, condemned the report of the Education Reform Initiative Committee chaired by Professor Adeniyi Gbadegesin when the government was still examining the report and has not made its content a policy yet.
“Rather than going to the pages of newspapers to express displeasure on some of government actions in the education sector, JAFAS should have sent a memorandum to the Education Reform Committee when it called for such, instead of misleading the public about the contents of the yet to be made public report,” the government spokesman stated.