- Oyo Properties Valued at N99bn, While Osun Hosts N7bn Assets
- Dissolution Not Best Option – Prof Adeleke, Former VC
By Ismaeel Uthman
The dissolution process of joint ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso initiated by Osun and Oyo state governments has reached an advanced stage.
Investigations by OSUN DEFENDER revealed that an evaluation of the properties of LAUTECH on the soils of both Osun and Oyo states has been concluded.
The assets’ evaluation, according to reliable sources within the university, was carried out by some officials of the National Universities Commission (NUC), as well as Osun and Oyo state governments’ representatives some weeks ago.
The medium gathered that LAUTECH’s properties in Oyo were evaluated at N99bn; while those in Osun were valued at N7bn.
LAUTECH main campus is situated at Ogbomoso, while it has its Teaching Hospitals Complex and College of Health Sciences in Osun.
Findings revealed that details of the assets’ evaluation have been disclosed to the governments of the two states.
However, the Chairman of the five-man committee set up by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to come up with concrete steps to help terminate the joint ownership of the institution with Osun, Prof Deji Omole declined to comment on the evaluation reports.
When contacted on phone, Omole, Professor of Agriculture at the University of Ibadan, said the committee was not authorised to speak with the press, disclosing that the NUC is heading a Technical Committee on the joint ownership dissolution process.
Also, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation in the State of Osun, Mrs. Funke Egbemode, said the government would soon provide official information on issues affecting LAUTECH, just as she declined to comment further.
Osun Already Short-changed – Workers
However, some LAUTECH workers, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER under condition of anonymity, stated that Osun had already been short-changed in the joint ownership dissolution process.
They argued that the university’s assets’ evaluation does not favour Osun, saying that the state would not have the strength to negotiate appropriately eventually.
They said: “Now, they have done the valuation, the LAUTECH properties in Oyo are said to worth N99 billion and those in Osun were valued at N7 billion. Out of the N99 billion, the land domiciled in Oyo is N80bn in the valuation. Oyo will eventually offer Osun a ridiculous amount and set out the terms of payment in instalments.
“We need to tell you that Osun is on the weak side of the discontinuation process, because Oyo has taken over the payment of subvention which is supposed to be the responsibility of both states. Osun should have taken over the payment from July, but Oyo has continued, disregarding Osun.
“The staff and the entire system are now seeing LAUTECH as an Oyo State-owned institution.
“At the end of the day, what is going to be the benefit of Osun in the whole arrangement? Osun is short-changed already. Osun had always been short-changed but it is worse now.
“Osun is running at a loss. The LAUTECH assets domiciled here in Osun are said to be worth only N7bn and the assets Oyo has is over N80bn, what is left on ground to share? You can see the lopsidedness! Those representing Osun in the Evaluation Committee are helpless; they have to value what is on ground. There is nothing they can do about it.
“We think the best thing to do is to see how we can correct these anomalies before the conclusion of the dissolution process. Even if Osun does not have assets, we can look at other things: after all, we have intangible and tangible assets. The goodwill of the institution is there. We are talking about an over 20-year-old university!
“Those are the technical things I believe Osun would have considered because if you look at the way the entire process is structured, it is so lopsided. The truth of the matter is that there is misplacement of priorities.”
Dissolution Not Best Option – Prof Adeleke, Former VC
A former Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Benjamin Adeleke, has said that the dissolution of joint ownership of the institution is not the best option to consider by both Osun and Oyo states government.
According to Adeleke, LAUTECH had been at its best when it was being managed by the two sister-states.
Adeleke attributed the ownership crisis rocking the institution to self-seeking greed, insincerity and over-ambition among stakeholders of the institution.
The former VC, who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday, said Osun would eventually be at the receiving end if Oyo State takes over the university.
He said: “I personally do not believe in the discontinuation of the joint ownership of LAUTECH by the State of Osun and Oyo State. LAUTECH made her name as the best state-owned university under the joint ownership.
“When I was the VC, LAUTECH was rated among the best 100 universities in Africa and we had students coming from outside the country, which shows that the quality of education and the reputation of the university were very high. In that ranking, LAUTECH was 76 and many federal universities were not on that list.
“The origin of the university is that the old Oyo State wanted an avenue to get admission for her students and that continued to be the vision of the founding stakeholders, even after Osun was carved out. And the State of Osun students and Oyo State students in terms of population was about 50:50 or 49/51 in favour of Oyo state in LAUTECH.
“If the separation is effected, that means not less than 10,000 Osun students might not be able to get admission. So, on that basis, I don’t think it will be advantageous for Osun to pull out”.
Alumni Call On Osun, Oyo Govts To Prioritize Students’, Workers’ Plight
President of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso Alumni Association, Mr. Solomon Onilede, has called on Osun and Oyo state governments to strongly consider the interest of students and reputation of the institution in the process of dissolving the institution’s joint ownership.
According to Onilede, the LAUTECH’s alumni are much concerned about the progress of the university and would support any programme or policy that would move the ivory tower forward.
Onilede in an interview with OSUN DEFENDER yesterday said students and graduates of LAUTECH are tired of the constant crisis rocking the institution and would prefer an arrangement that will restore the university’s glory.
Asked his opinion on the joint ownership dissolution process between Osun and Oyo state governments, Onilede said: “As major stakeholders, our position is for the university to move forward without issues. If the two states can run the university peacefully, it is fine by us.
“Our stand and that of others holding the certificate of the university is that they should agree on who is going to own it and give each other the necessary support. We don’t want a kind of LAUTECH that we have been seeing in the last three, four years again.
“Whichever state that will own LAUTECH at the end of the day should run it in a way that the students and alumni will be proud. I don’t think there would be any problem from either of the states that would eventually take over the institution. Whatsoever the resolution is, the future of the students and staff of the university must be taken care of.