Monday, October 3, 2016 12:47 am
As Oyo State Government declared public holiday for October 3, to mark the Islamic New Year, 1438 AH, its governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has justified decision to stop funding of state-owned tertiary institutions.
Ajimobi said that the hard decision is as a result of the dwindling financial resources and the need for the managers of the institutions to be more creative.
The Oyo State Government in a letter to all the state tertiary institutions dated September 20, 2016 which takes immediate effect stated that the institutions should no longer expect subventions whether for any arrears, current or future expenses in running the schools from the state government.
The governor who stated that each institution will still be getting 25 percent of its subvention assured that the government would continue to support the institutions with the amount as a sign of its commitment to their well-being.
He said that the way to go for better funding and management of education is participation of all stakeholders including parents, philanthropists and the private sector adding, “Looking at the economic situation of the country and in the whole world, we have dwindling oil revenue.
It has affected virtually all aspects of our socio-economic life and we are unable to really cope. Therefore, we believe that apart from the dwindling resources, all Nigerians must participate in education. Education is participatory. It is not for the government alone or for the government alone to pay for education. We believe that parents, teachers, everybody must participate. What we are witnessing here today, for me, exemplifies our belief in participatory education”.
Ajimobi also pointed out that managers of government-owned institutions need to work hard to block leakages and be creative in serving their communities stressing, “We are still supporting the tertiary institutions. We have not cancelled subventions completely. We have reduced it from 100 per cent to 25 per cent. And we see many loopholes and leakages gulping revenue. They should go and plug them. We believe that they can raise Internally Generated Revenues, IGR, through efficient management of their resources, through plugging of leakages and through offering various services to the community. They agreed. You can see that private institutions are not taking subventions from anybody. Education is not absolutely free. Nothing is absolutely free”.
Speaking on the crisis rocking the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, the governor said, “Before we came in 2010, the former governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala and his Osun State counterpart then, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had an agreement to transfer LAUTECH to Oyo State. But Governor Rauf Aregbesola went to court, and the case got to the Supreme Court.
In 2012, the court gave a judgment that co-ownership of LAUTECH by both states remained unbroken. The judgment held that unless both owners sit down and agree, no party can singlehandedly decide to severe the relationship. Agreed that Osun State is not paying as it should be paying, Oyo State has paid substantially more than Osun has paid. What we are saying now is for us to sit down and see the need for co-owners to fulfil our obligations”.