Friday, September 6, 2019 9:09 pm
The owners of the state-owned Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, Governors Seyi Makinde of Oyo State and Gboyega Oyetola of the State of Osun have started exchanging words over the financial commitments of the duo toward the institution.
While yesterday Makinde, on a live media chat at Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State, BCOS, claimed that the State of Osun is failing to pay its share of the salary of the workers of LAUTECH, Oyetola declared that Makinde is ignorant over the matter and he needs proper briefing and extensive readings on the institution.
Makinde said, “Yesterday, I received the Governing Council of LAUTECH and we discussed. They told me that the students may not be able to start their exam scheduled to start next week thereabout because the lecturers want to embark on strike as they are still being owed salaries. Before then, when I was informed about the state of the school, I asked that the file of the school be brought to me and I signed all the necessary documents. According to arrangement, Oyo State is to pay the salary of the staff from January till June. We have paid it. Osun State is to pay from July till December, it has not paid it and that is why the staff want to go on strike. Things cannot continue like this”.
He explained further, “In 2010, my predecessor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala and Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of State of Osun signed agreement that each state should go its separate ways. Nine years after, nothing has happened. Governor of the State of Osun and I will hold meeting on this. I feel bad that some students in that school are spending extra four years due to this situation. If Oyo State has to pay again for July till December, we will pay so that the students can do their exam. I will ensure that there will not be any strike. There is going to be a different approach to running of LAUTECH. If a couple do not understand each other, they go to court for a divorce. I will not shy away from divorcing the State of Osun on the issue of LAUTECH”.
But in a press release signed by the Supervisor, Ministry of Information and Strategy, State of Osun, Adelani Baderinwa, Governor Oyetola alleged that Governor Makinde is yet to get his facts right on LAUTECH.
The statement said that the attention of the state Government of Osun has been drawn to a statement credited to Governor Makinde on his official twitter handle where he frivolously accused the state government of not paying the salary of workers of LAUTECH.
It stated, “We will like to state that for 29 years of existence, Osun Government has been living up to its expectations and performing its responsibility as equal partner in the LAUTECH ownership, notwithstanding the obvious cheating from the Oyo government.
“Governor Seyi Makinde needs proper briefing and extensive readings on LAUTECH before he could make factual and objective remarks. Presently, he obviously does not have sufficient facts, or may be playing greed man script. And as a matter of fact, we are aware that the governor had during his campaign promised to acquire LAUTECH and make it the property of Oyo government alone. We are not surprised that he started on a wrong note of blackmail on the university matter.
“However, Governor Seyi Makinde needs to be properly informed that Osun Government does not owe LAUTECH workers’ salary, since it took over the payment in July this year. What is outstanding is the August subvention which is being arranged alongside other statutory expenses of Osun Government. It is unpleasant that Governor Makinde took to his twitter handle in attempt to make cheap political point on Osun. That is unbecoming of a governor.
“May we remind the governor that in 2017, the Osun Government committed a sum of N1, 250, 000, 000, and in 2018, Osun government paid N500, 000, 000. Between July 2010 and July 2016, Osun paid a total sum of N8, 692, 488, 234.04. Osun has offset the LAUTECH workers July salary with N300, 000, 000 in this year. We challenged Governor Seyi Makinde to tell the public what Oyo has contributed to LAUTECH between 2010 and 2019. The governor should be mindful of what he will says on LAUTECH.
“When owner states were asked to pay N500m each for takeoff after the visitation panel, Osun duly paid its own, but we are yet to have evidence of payment by our boasting counterpart.
“Governor Seyi Makinde should be worried on why LAUTECH has not been self-sufficient in terms of funding and academic advancement since its creation, while Osun State University which was created few years ago is making ways financially and academically.
“We expect Governor Makinde to rise above the petty game of blackmail and attempt to incite the LAUTECH workers and the Oyo people at large against the government of Osun and the administration of Governor Gboyega Oyetola, who is very responsive and committed to workers plight.
“It is a known fact that Oyo had always wanted to own LAUTECH alone but it is our common patrimony and nobody can appropriate it through blackmail or whatever. Osun is not in any way forcing itself on the joint ownership of LAUTECH. The supposed ‘plan to split’ signed by former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and former governor Adebayo Alao-Akala was a ruse. There is a legal and sincere process to be followed if Oyo state is indeed interested in taking over LAUTECH. Osun government will be happy if Governor Makinde initiates that process.
“Osun has always been cheated on LAUTECH: only one out of the eight academic faculties is in Osun, while Oyo has about twice of the staff strength of the University. Osun single-handedly funded the infrastructure development in the LAUTECH campus in Osun; also 85 per cent of the total institution’s infrastructure is in Oyo, whereas funding is equally carried out. Despite this, we are fully committed to joint ownership of our joint heritage.
“Governor Oyetola who is passionate about functional education, a team player and a goal getter will not cease in funding LAUTECH.
“The amiable Governor Seyi Makinde is urged to take a deeper and more rational outlook at the matters of existence and operation of LAUTECH, otherwise he will get lost in the shenanigans of LAUTECH OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL. Oyo has been a great cheat on Osun in this matter and only a dispassionate and discerning mind can deductively make good sense out of the situation. GSM is thus advised to take rational path before making statements on LAUTECH matter”.