To start with, how can Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Oyo State degenerate to the state of these protracted strikes, with no end in sight? How can the students be left in perpetual wandering, with uncertain future? In addition, how can the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), LAUTECH chapter be so stubborn not to allow the two owner states, Oyo and Osun State, to carry out forensic audit of the institution, as suggested by the Chief Wole Olanipekun’s panel? Also, how can the two owner States, Oyo and Osun, not performing their respective functions, in funding the institution since 2013? Besides, how can LAUTECH, a one-time best state university, in Nigeria be suffering from funding, and this retrogression?
These are the questions begging for answers on the mind of well-meaning Alumni and many Nigerians, who cannot but everyday pray for immediate academic resumption of the highly respectable University of Technology that has churned out big wits in the society home and abroad. Moreover, the institution, as known before, was a beehive of activities that always burst for excitement, both during and after the academic session.
Meanwhile, aside the rigorous academic activities LAUTECH is known for, the school is a source of livelihoods for thousands business owners. Such as photographers that rake hundredths of naira from both fresher’s and non-like, taxi drivers and bike riders that patronize the school environment to commute their passengers, the landlords and hostels agents that swindle newbies, café and business centers that provides diverse services to nerds, banks that carry out students fee payment and cash withdrawal services, and kiosks owners that sell puff-puff, doughnut and soft-drinks to meet undergraduate and post-graduates hungers and thirsts, eateries are not left behind. All these are gone or at low ebb! The nostalgic feeling way back is leaving me sullen and nauseated.
The three gladiators are: the Oyo State Governor, Mr. Abiola Ajimobi, Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola and Academic Staff Union of Universities (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso chapter. It’s been accusations counter accusations for couple of months, over who is authorized to perform forensic audit of the institution. The Academic Staff Union of Universities (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso chapter, claims ever since the 2013, the institution’s owner states of Oyo and Osun have failed in their responsibilities of funding the institution.
Consequently, while the Academic Staff Union of Universities (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso chapter, prudently use the institution’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, to survive ever since then, until few months ago that it exhausted the fund. On the other hands, the two institution’s owner states, Oyo and Osun, never accepted the blame of funding LAUTECH since 2013, as it were, but said the reason was because of the lopsided and porous accounting system of the school, according to the Oyo State Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela.
The Commissioner claims that the government is ready to refund the loans owed the institution only if the Academic Staff Union of Universities (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso chapter, is ready to open its accounting system for thorough scrutiny. However, the latter refuse on the ground that only the institution’s Governing Council is authorized to do so.
Furthermore, a panel was set-up headed by Chief Wole Olanipekun to proffer a way forward. His recommendation was to audit the account of the school by the government; however, I don’t know why the Academic Staff Union of Universities (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso chapter, find it difficult to bend their stance in giving peace a chance by allowing the government to do whatever pleases them?
In other words, they say, “He who pays the piper dictates the tune.” I believe the governments have the final say in this regard because they own the institution, after all. The buck lies at the hands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso chapter, since the government has contracted the KPMG, an auditing firm, to fish out the culprit of the nebulous and porous account, except the former has something to hide.
In conclusion, I salute the courage of the former State Union Government, comrade Ropo Egbeleke and its team for taking the bull by the horn through rallying people to support the YesWeCanFund project to save the LAUTECH from going into imminent extinction and unnecessary mess. It’s a duty of all Alumni to pay token into the accounts already rolled out for that the purpose.
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