The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, has insisted that the outstanding debts of the institution is about N8 billion contrary to claims by the Oyo State Government.
The union also restated its position that only the governing council of the university has the powers to audit the accounts of the university, as against the current moves by the owner states.
LAUTECH is jointly owned by Oyo and Osun States.
ASUU’s reaction came as the Commissioner for Education of Oyo State, Adeniyi Olowofela, claimed while appearing on Channels TV Sunrise on Monday that the owner states were not owing N8 billion.
The commissioner also said that it was not compulsory to give subventions to the university, and accused the management of the University of mismanaging funds.
According to Mr. Olowofela, LAUTECH’s management could not account for a whopping N400 million and had operated 97 “nebulous accounts.”
He had blamed ASUU and other unions for the delay in the conduct of the audit, claiming that the union was resolving to blackmail to frustrate the efforts of the owner governments.
But ASUU on Tuesday said allegations by Mr. Olowofela were untrue.
ASUU’s statement signed by its Chairman, Biodun Olaniran, and Secretary, Toyin Abegurin, said the union could not be silenced coerced into submission.
“In an effort to justify the much talked about audit of the University, Olowofela has concluded the whole exercise, by inferring that the management of the University is corrupt,” the statement said.
“While the Management should speak for itself, it is uncharitable that a University don would embark on self-help to usurp the power of Governing Council to audit accounts of the University, and give the role to owner states in total flagrance to the University edict.
“It is certain that Olowofela is one of the agents being recruited to undermine the autonomy of the University; and our Union would not allow such move. If the government is sincere about the audit exercise, it should be within the limits set by the University laws.”
ASUU also criticized the commissioner for his position that subventions to the institution were not compulsory, saying if owner states refuse to fund the institution, then they have abdicated their responsibilities as owners of the school.
“On subvention, maybe he is looking for another owners for LAUTECH, who would take responsibilities of funding the institution. With the generation of about N2.3 billion annually as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), it is evidently clear that the University needs regular and pragmatic subvention from owner states to offset wage bill of N4.38 billion annually, pay allowances, gratuity and pension, electricity bills, running grants, and capital fund,” ASUU submitted.
“The N13 billion paid by the owner states in six years (2011-2016) has left a huge deficit in subvention; which is the crux of the current crisis.
“The IGR was totally drained to pay salaries for 18 months by the University to the tune of N6.57 billion. Olowofela is a Professor of Physics from FUNAAB, and it would be interesting to ask him if Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), his home University thrives on IGR alone or if subvention to the University by the Federal Government is not compulsory.
“It is high time that our referred colleagues at FUNAAB take cognizance of the antics of Prof. Olowofela, who claims to be on the same page with ASUU. This same Olowofela has been, on several occasions, an external examiner in the department of Physics in LAUTECH even as serving commissioner and he collected honorarium attached to such service each time!”
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