…To make pronouncement on moribund Agbowo shopping complex before 100 days in office
By Bode Akinbode, Ibadan
Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has lamented that the State is currently experiencing a technical bankruptcy due to funds that have been syphoned.
The governor made the disclosure on Tuesday while he received in audience the Governing Council of the University of Ibadan, led by the Pro-Chancellor of the institution and Chairman of Council, Dr. Waklek Mutka, on a courtesy visit to his office at the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Ibadan.
According to the governor: “When I came in, we were looking for ways to keep the government running because technically the government of Oyo State is bankrupt.”
“If I take it as a private entity, I won’t lend a dime to the government of Oyo State. I will ask them to start winding up proceedings. So, we have been looking for ways to keep the government running.”
“We have been beaming our searchlight on areas we can get money. The Bureau of Internal Revenue came to me and said they had issue of PAYE with the University of Ibadan.”
“And at the Governor’s Forum, I saw a document where a lot of the states got huge refund from PAYE due to the federal institutions located in such states. I believe Ogun State got about N8 billion; another state in the South West got N10 billion; and Oyo state got only about N91 million.”
“Then, I wondered what was going on here. They told me that there was work in progress and that they had been talking and did not have cooperation from the University of Ibadan.”
“I can give you the assurance that this is something for the Federal Government to refund to us. All we need to do here is open the books and see what has gone on and have an agreement. I told the Chairman of Bereau of Internal Revenue that himself and myself will come and meet with the University of Ibadan to get money.”
“We will utilize such money immediately to do things that will lift our environment,” the governor assured.
Makinde, however, reiterated his administration’s determination to collaborate with the university in the area of Public Private Partnership (PPP), to create a serious synergy between the academia and the government, adding that majority of very good research outcomes stay on the shelf in the university.
“The university is a very important member of this community. We will like to collaborate with the university especially in the area of Public Private Partnership and for us, there should be a serious synergy between the academia and the government because majority of very good research outcomes stay on the shelf in the university. We want those to come out for us to work together to utilize those research outcomes to better the lives of our people.”
“The government of Oyo State is keen and ready for such partnership,” he expressed readiness.
Meanwhile, the governor, while revealing his readiness to give facelift to the moribund popular Agbowo Shopping Complex in Ibadan, disclosed that before his 100 days in office, he would give his official pronouncement on how he intends to turn the shopping complex into something that would bring benefit to the university community and residents of the state in general.
In how words: “The Agbowo shopping complex in front of the university is an eyesore. A lot of money that was sunk in there and we are not getting any value. As a matter of fact, that structure is a security threat to the university community.”
“We are looking at it and I am sure before we mark our 100 days, there will be a pronouncement on how we intend to turn that shopping complex into something that bring benefit to the university community and residents of the state in general,” he hinted.
Earlier in his remark, the Pro-Chancellor of the university and chairman of the governing council, Dr. Waklek Mutka, expressed appreciation to the governor for his prompt response in donating N25 million towards the rehabilitation of facilities in the institution that were destroyed by the rainstorm of March 9, even as a governor-elect then.
“Your magnanimity is unprecedented and we believe that the university will continue to enjoy the full support of the government. It is hoped that your administration will ensure that we have an environment that will guarantee peace and stability.”
“We also want to use this medium to appeal to you not to relent on your effort in assisting the university in the area of infrastructural development and maintenance.”
The pro-chancellor then expressed the readiness of the university to cooperate with the state government in the area of research, adding that very soon, the university would involve the government to work out the possibilities and the details.