Former students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso , on Monday unveiled a plan to raise N1 billion within 90 days to be deployed in solving the problems of the institution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the agenda was unveiled on Monday in Ibadan at a news conference organised by the alumni of the school under the tag, #Fundlautech team.
The institution has remained shut for almost eight months as a result of the inability of the owner states, Oyo and Osun, to fund the university.
Addressing journalists, Adebayo Adeyinka, one of the leaders of the initiative, said a planned crowd funding initiative was being proposed in which alumni members and members of the public would be expected to contribute.
Other co-initiators are Tunde Ajayi-Ope, Dr Saheed Adetunbi, Ropo Egbeleke and Sola Kolawole.
Mr. Adeyinka stated that the funds realised from the crowd funding model would be used to pay the salaries and obligations of the workers.
“Our aim is to raise N1billion within 90 days. The current wage bill of LAUTECH is N350 million monthly.
“If we succeed in raising this sum from the general public, we would have a foot in the door which will enable the university open while negotiations and auditing as recommended continues,’’ he said.
He said the team had evolved short and long term strategies in achieving this, adding that the short term strategy was to get the university opened very quickly.
“Our long term strategy involves visits to high profile citizens in a bid to resolve this impasse once and for all,’’ he said.
Mr. Adeyinka recalled how the late MKO Abiola, a former Chancellor of LAUTECH, in 1989 contributed to sustaining the institution then known as Oyo State University of Technology (OSUTECH).
“It is ironic in 1989, a Higher Education Appeal Fund realised the sum of N19 million in cash and pledges from launching of the new university then called Oyo State University of Technology (OSUTECH).
“Tragically, 28 years after, we have to raise money again from the general public to fund the salaries of the institution,
“On that day in 1989, Chief MKO Abiola, who was the chief launcher, donated the sum of N2,050,000 in Ibadan,” he added.
He also said the June 12 date chosen for the launching of the project was carefully considered to honour the memory of Mr. Abiola.
Mr. Adeyinka appealed to alumni members and well meaning Nigerians to contribute generously to the project.
“Your gifts will enable the students go back to school. Your gifts will save some jobs. Your gifts will help some people to move on in life.
“No amount is too small or too big to come to the aid of a once reputable university. LAUTECH must not die.
“We are also engaging ASUU and SSANU to join us in managing the fund. We have made plans for a board comprising reputable citizens to also superintend the fund as a second level check.
“Daily updates will be given on the website www.fundlautech.com on amounts received,’’ he added.
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