The issues of poor funding which has become perennial in my Alma Mater, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), came to the front burner again.
The Osun state government has been accused of deliberately withholding funds meant for the smooth running of the university. Expectedly, the Osun state government responded that it had even done more than its part and that, rather, it’s the Oyo State government that has not paid up as at when due.
We should not forget that the Oyo State governor had earlier been quoted to have said that Oyo State would not mind paying up for Osun State if the latter is incapable of being financially committed to and responsible for LAUTECH.
The staff unions on campus have also joined one way or the other; either by way of press releases or locking of the university gate. In all these, the victims always remain the students who have to spend more time before they are able to graduate.
The bad image created by the school being in the news always for the wrong reasons is also extremely dangerous on the long run because employers can easily conclude that LAUTECH graduates are not well trained. The consequences of the situation is very expensive and in my opinion, more expensive than the money that will be used to sustain the institution.
As at today, LAUTECH remains the joint property of both Oyo and Osun state hence any funding or takeover/acquisition must involve the two state governments. Definitely, the institution can’t continue with the constant interruption to academic calendar. Hence all hands needs to be on the deck.
I expect the leadership of the alumni association to do more than it is presently doing since the governing council constituted by the two owner states will never go against the interests of their principals, they would rather keep quiet and be politically correct than make suggestions that can move the institution forward.
It is apparent that any proactive solution won’t come from the university governing council and management team because they are stuck with the status quo. Hence, it has become the duty of the leadership of the alumni association to rise up to the occasion and ensure that the critical stakeholders in Oyo and Osun state governments meet under one roof where all the issues of LAUTECH and its two teaching hospitals will be settled once and for all.
This time around, it is not about apportioning blames or the continuation of lamentations or blame trading; this is the time for critical stakeholders in both states, including the two state governments, traditional rulers, the people in previous government in both states, the alumni association, the labour unions, the governing council, the university management and all stakeholders to meet with the aim of respolving the crisis once and for all.
Central to the resolution of the crisis is the fact that there are opinions that suggest that the Oyo State government is willing to take over the institution, and that has caused a lot of apprehension in the polity.
It’s my belief that when the stakeholders that I earlier enumerated meet in an atmosphere of peace, love and tranquility, solutions will emanate from within.
A respected Nigerian leader from SouthWest Nigeria should be allowed to coordinate the discussions. I believe that if truly the stakeholders meet with a positive and proactive mindset, then solutions that will set LAUTECH free will emanate from the stakeholders’ meeting.