On LAUTECH ownership imbroglio

It must be stated that some of us saw the current problem of LAUTECH long time ago. We know it will come to this impasse sooner or later. There will be no winner and no loser. In essence the advice is that the entire assets and liabilities of the institution should be computed. The current annual running cost should also be calculated. Hypothetically if the net value is 100 and the running cost is five per cent of the net value, it means the net value will give 20 years of the running cost and each state has 10 years ownership credit equivalent.

Therefore, if Osun withdraws from contributing to the running cost today, it will take the next 10 years to exhaust its ownership credit. Osun could therefore still be part owner with full rights and privileges for the next 10 years after which Oyo will take full ownership. Oyo will carry the full burden for the period as “alimony” payment for divorce and Osun will have nothing to lose for the separation. During the period, Osun State will still have the present full privileges of appointments, admissions and governance.

Osun will then be able to divert its normal contribution from LAUTECH to UNIOSUN that is designed to be a mega university from birth. It will spend its money on its dispersed six colleges/campuses which have potential to be great universities each on their own right. Court settlement will be a terrible waste of time, resources, dissipation of goodwill and affection between the two brothers.

Some of us having physical and emotional connections to the two states and institutions will hate to see needless bitter separation. Bitter separation will damage the image of the institution and academic heritage of the past, present, and future students.

Let us demonstrate Omoluabi in the way we resolve this problem. I am glad to see a strong and very respectable resolution committee which includes the inimitable Professor Olu Aina, who was a member of the Implementation Committee of UNIOSUN.

Since the arrangement of joint ownership has not worked even given various combinations of circumstances, it is much better to separate amicably. There is a Yoruba saying “Olori kikun bi orisa adawojo ya” which roughly translates “everybody’s responsibility is nobody’s responsibility” The fact that Oyo is the owner cannot preclude Osun indigenes from admissions and appointments into the institution. A university is universal by concept. Indeed, the more heterogonous a university is the better is the rating.

We have injected our parochial, myopic and low level political thinking into an institution that is supposed to be governed by global intellect and logical reasoning. Highly rated institutions all over the world are searching and recruiting the very best brains as students and administrators globally to uplift their brands but here we are reducing our citadels to local community schools where talents and brilliance do not count but mundane sectional or ethnic considerations. How can we develop? Certainly, not through this warped thinking.

I plead with the current political leaders in the two brotherly states to rise above pettiness, accept the outcome of the committee’s recommendations and bequeath a virile LAUTECH that we all will be proud of to the coming generations.

 

Prof. Odewumi, Samuel G

samuel.odewumi@lasu.edu.ng

 

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