by Usman Alabi
The Oyo state governor again reiterated that Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho would be Opened by the end of January or early in February. This he said again yesterday while addressing protesting students.
It is important to critically examine the premise upon which the governor based such statement. How visible is the opening of the institution given the barrage of troubles it is currently facing, especially in the light of the economies of the two states that lay claim to the institution?
The present situation faced by LAUTECH was caused by financial disagreement between its two principal owners, Oyo and Osun. The Osun state governor in person of Aregbesola has not made any public statement on this matter, would it then be wise for us to rely on the statement made by the Oyo state government as a guarantee that the institution would be reopened soon.
For LAUTECH to be reopened, then both states must reach a consensus. But that is not even the case, the realities on ground had made Gov Ajumobi’s promise of reopening the institution nothing more than an illusory illusion.
Since the stoppage of subvention to the institution by both states, it has been running on its internally generated revenue, yet has been unable to pay its staffs for seven months.
Before now, both states agreed to pay subvention to the institution via a sharing formula. One state pays for six month while the other pays for another six months. Osun state however was unable pay its own part of the subvention from July through December 2014; July through December 2015 and July through December 2016, the state also owes subvention for December and November, 2013. Hence Osun State alone owes the institution 20 months subventions.
Oyo on the other hand paid her own subvention from January to April 2015, defaulted in May and June; was also not able to pay from January to June 2016, making it 8 months. For record purposes, LAUTECH receives N294 million subventions.
The question is how does both states intends to address this situation even with the proposed N500 million that both states intend disbursing according to Gov Ajumobi. ASUU had vowed not to be in the next meeting with the government. They had promised not to resume by January or at any time until they are paid three months at least out of the seven months owed them.
The institution pay N350 million every month as salaries and it owes seven months, if ASUU is demanding three months upfront before they consider resumption, then for salaries alone, LAUTECH needs N1.5 bn if they must resume and not only N500 million which is still in the pipeline.
How does both state intends to pay the backlog of subventions they owe, the present issue of staff salaries, which the N500 million promised cannot address and with the resolve of ASUU not to go back to work until a substantial amount is paid, how would the governor and his Osun counterpart address this plethora of challenges.
Sources within the school administration also said it is difficult for the school to be reopened if the above issues are not addressed.
So the question is, do you still think based on all the above juxtaposed with Ajumobi’s statement, that LAUTECH would be opened by the end of January or early February as the governor promised?
Share your views with us.