Students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, Oyo State, may have cause to rejoice as the teaching umbrella of the jointly-owned institution is warming up to resume on February 15, 2017.
A reliable source within the institution told infobase that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, LAUTECH branch is likely to call off their strike and resume academic activities right away.
“LAUTECH ASUU is likely to call off its strike on Wednesday considering the outcome of the meeting between Governor Ajimobi, and Governor Aregbesola with the visitation panel and the governing council” the source said.
LAUTECH has been shut down for close to one academic session due to the industrial action embarked upon by its academic and non-academic staff.
While non-academic staff-NASU, SSANU, NAAT-called off their strike on January 27 this year due to injection of over half a billion naira to sort out some issues; academic staff (ASUU) insisted that their demands must be met before they could return to classrooms.
In a bid to know the remote and immediate cause of the strike, the owner states-Oyo, and Osun-had set up a visitation panel in October 2016 chaired by a legal icon and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Wole Olanipekun.
Submission of Wole Olanipekun-led visitation panel report
The visitation panel submitted its findings recently at the Oyo State Governor’s Office, Ibadan, where the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Prof. Wale Omole; Vice Chancellor, Prof. Adeniyi Gbadegesin, and others members of the governing council were present.
Governor Ajimobi promises full implementation of the recommendations of visitation panel report
Governor Ajimobi who commended the panel for “a thorough and in-depth job done,” promised the panel of full implementation of the recommendations.
The governor said, “Awolowo was a realist and he saw the need to finance education while alive. He also had the resources to apply to the vision then and we all benefitted from his gesture. Today, oil revenue, which is the mainstay of sustaining education funding through federal allocation, had dropped.
“Oyo State that used to get N5.2 billion as monthly allocation now gets as low as N2.5 billion and we have to pay salaries of workers and finance social infrastructure. How do we survive that without looking inward?
“The reality on the ground requires that we look at different ways of doing things. There is need for repositioning of the university, especially on the structure. The non-resumption of academic activities after our (governors) efforts is worrying.
“LAUTECH should be the flagship of the South-West. There is nothing wrong in the whole South-West states buying into the ownership, relying on the internally-generated revenue from the school alone cannot help.”
The whole situation is regrettable-Aregbesola
On his part, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola said, “The whole situation is regrettable, but I’m of the opinion that the academic staff and students of the university are not unaware of the present financial challenges facing the states, which culminated from the drop in our monthly federal allocation.
“We are happy the panel has done a marvelous job and the next step is for the two states to put up a technical implementation committee that would work on a white paper from the visitation panel’s report.”
Olanipekun advocates supports of corporate individuals in form of trust fund
“Government alone is incapable of funding university education. Talk of great universities all over the world, you will talk of Harvard. The budget of Harvard University is more than that of Nigeria.
“How did they come about this? It is through trust fund and we are also recommending same as a solution to the funding crisis of LAUTECH. Maybe Nigerian universities would start to learn from LAUTECH if our recommendations are implemented.
“But, we are recommending that for now the university need money; the immediate thing is for the university to reopen. It has been out of session for eight months.
“Therefore, we are recommending that for now, the university must be given some subvention for it to reopen in the short term and after that the implementation of the other steps and recommendations could be also followed.”
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