Prof. Deji Omole, the Governing Council Chairman, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, says Gov. Seyi Makinde has released N500 million for the smooth take-off of the Iseyin campus.
He made the disclosure on Sunday in a pronouncement to commemorate the first year anniversary of LAUTECH’s sole ownership.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Oyo State became the sole owner of LAUTECH on November 20, 2020, following an agreement reached between the defunct owners, Oyo and Osun States.
NAN reports that the governor later announced the creation of a new campus in Iseyin for the institution’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources.
Omole said that Makinde had also announced his administration’s readiness to pay Osun State Government another N1 billion on or before the first week of December, 2021.
The council chairman said that the payment would make a total of N2 billion paid to Osun State out of the N8 billion contained in the asset-sharing agreement.
He said that the Makinde administration had also paid five out of eight months salaries owed workers of the institution before becoming the sole ownership of the institution.
Omole said the governor envisaged that the balance would be cleared in the next six months.
“Oyo State has already paid N1 billion to Osun State and earmarked another N1 billion to be paid on or before the first week of December this year.
“Oyo State has liquidated five out of the eight months salary arrears owned workers of the University.
“In addition, it has released the sum of N500 million to the institution as take-off grant for the smooth running of the school,” he said.
He said that the capital expenditure for infrastructure development of the institution has been budgeted for in the 2022 Appropriation Bill, adding “this is the first in the institution’s history.”
The council chairman added that the 25 per cent reduction in tuition fees for LAUTECH students as announced by the governor would take effect from the 2022 session.
Omole urged the students to reciprocate the gesture by staying focused and shunning anti-social behaviours.
He said that the council is monitoring the finances of the university transparently to ensure prudent management of resources and reporting same to the governor.
According to him, the investment of Makinde is already positioning LAUTECH as choice institution, adding that 11,300 candidates are seeking admission compared with the 5,000 candidates that sought admission in the 2017/2018 session.
The council chairman said that staff audit has been carried out to ascertain the manpower needs of LAUTECH.
“We are hoping to inject new blood because LAUTECH is top heavy and this does not give room for mentorship as well as successor plan.
“We have done staff audit. We have also established collaboration with the University of Botswana and Oyo State Government has resolved to patronise them for consultancy,” he said.
Omole said that the last one year of sole ownership of the institution has shown a promising future.
He appealed to staff of the institution to be patient with the government in its effort towards repositioning and entrenching it as a center of excellence.