How politics, entrenched interest broke up LAUTECH joint ownership

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Osun Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola has finally taken the plunge by opting out of the joint ownership of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso.

The plan to that effect was cut and dry in the former administration of PDP Gov Olagunsoye Oyinlola, according to Oyetola during a NAN Forum in Abuja).

He said it is more profitable to invest in Osun’s new university than continue with the joint ownership with Oyo State.

Oyo State University of Technology in April 1990 was jointly owned by Osun and Oyo States after the creation of the former on Aug. 27, 1991. The joint ownership ended last November, with the College of Helath Technology falling to Osun.

Oyetola said it was never a question of two states sitting down together saying we want to establish a university, no, we inherited it.

“Sometimes when you have different political parties being in charge of different states, there are always issues surrounding policies and related matters.

“LAUTECH had been in crisis over the years, as far back as when Gov. (Olagunsoye) Oyinlola was in office with (Adebayo) Alao-Akala.

“They actually agreed to separate and there was a report to that effect. It was just at the point of implementation that the APC administration came in, so it was stalled.

“But I realised that the relationship was becoming a burden to Osun in the sense that we have our own university, which is Osun State University.

” I had to be compelled to pay salaries of lecturers in LAUTECH, and even those of the teaching university located in Osogbo.

“Again, if you look at the issue of equitable distribution of the faculties, it was lopsided. Not less than nine were sited in Ogbomoso, for instance. We had only the School of Health in Osogbo.

“That doesn’t reflect truly the issue of joint ownership.

” So, lopsidedness in that area became an issue. And for me to be giving out about N700 million or thereabout per month to take care of our commitment to LAUTECH and the teaching hospital, I think it was burdensome.

“I have the Osun State University to think about, at some point there was this issue of states not meeting their financial obligations.

” That put so much pressure on our government, making it look as if we were the one not aligning or not making the university to develop.

“The best thing was to look at the whole thing again and mutually agree.

“We didn’t do it on partisan basis, we looked at it from the angle of Gov. Seyi Makinde too as a private sector person. We looked at it and minimised our losses and moved on.

“It is in the interest of the students and the management of the university that it should have just one parent than two parents who may not be compatible sometimes and create unnecessary problems every time.”