By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
There was intense debate on the floor of the Oyo State House of Assembly over the move by the state lawmakers to review the joint ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), with the aim of making Oyo State the sole owner of the institution.
At the plenary on Thursday, the Assembly, in a motion moved by Hon. Wunmi Oladeji, representing Ogbomoso North Constituency and co-sponsored by other nine lawmakers maintained that the present economic recession in the country had made it impossible for the Osun State Government to meet up with and fulfil its obligations in the sustenance of the university in its entirety, hence the need for it to stop laying claim to the ownership of the institution to allow Oyo State Government to take full ownership of the institution.
They pointed out that upon the creation of Osun out of Oyo State in 1991, the two states agreed on joint ownership and running of the university, noting that due to economic recession, Osun has failed in its obligation to finance the institution as greed upon.
“About the persistent crisis in the university due to default payment of staff salaries as and when due, the Osun State Government is owning fifteen months staff salaries as at September, 2016.”
“Consequent upon this, the university staff has embarked on an indefinite strike which has paralysed all activities in the university,” the motion added.
In the same vein, the lawmakers urged the Oyo State Government to be concerned about the sole ownership of the university, since the government of Osun has failed to honour its own side of the financial obligation of funding the institution.
Thay noted that the government of Osun failed to pay salaries of staff and provide other infrastructural development to the university in the last fifteen months, adding that, that has made it difficult for the smooth-running of LAUTECH.
In a robust debate by the lawmakers, they unanimously urged the concerned governments of Oyo and Osun to come to a round-table, with the aim of deliberating on the critical issues and crisis bedevilling the institution in order to save the university from total collapse.
They concluded by urging the concerned stakeholders to ensure that the university’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) is used for the purpose of developing the institution, which include payment of gratuity and pensions of retirees for which it was meant for.
In his remark, the Speaker, Hon. Michael Adeyemo, requested the state’s Attorney-General to appear before the Assembly at the next plenary on Tuesday, to clear some grey arrears over the legal actions taken so far by both states in resolving the persistent crisis in the institution.