Again, Osun, Oyo governments spar over LAUTECH

LAUTECH
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomosho

The governments of Oyo and Osun States have again disagreed publicly over their shares of the funding of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso.

The university was established before Osun was excised from Oyo State in 1991 and has remained under the joint ownership of the two sister states.

But the school has routinely had its academic calendar disrupted by workers’ strike over non-payment of salaries and allowances, arising from poor funding by the owner states.

On Saturday, Oyo Governor, Seyi Makinde, said his state was ready with its share of the salaries of the workers of the institution but said his Osun counterpart, Gboyega Oyetola, was delaying the payment by not releasing his own state’s share.

Mr Makinde made this allegation at an event held to commemorate his first 100 days in office.

READ ALSO: LAUTECH: Oyo govt ready to ‘divorce’ Osun over non-payment of wages — Governor

In response, the Osun state government accused Mr Makinde of blackmailing Osun State, saying it has been at the frontline of salary payment and funding of the school.

The Osun State Commissioner of Information, Adelani Baderinwa, in a press statement on Tuesday, defended the state with figures.

Recent response

The state government in another statement on Tuesday described the comments by Mr Makinde as a product of misinformation.

It said contrary to Mr Makinde’s claim, Osun has always been alive to its responsibility to LAUTECH, despite the “obvious lopsidedness in the distribution of infrastructure between the two owner states.”

The statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES by the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Wole Oyebamiji, said that Osun has never defaulted in the payment of salaries of workers in both the university and its Teaching Hospital in Osogbo.

It stated that in 2017 alone, while Oyo contributed N717, 888, 795.00, Osun contributed N1, 292, 000, 000.00. In 2018, Oyo contributed N443, 865,554.00; Osun contributed N500, 000,000.

The government added that in addition to contributing regularly to LAUTECH in Ogbomoso, as indicated above, Osun State alone has been responsible for paying the salaries of workers at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, from 2013 to date, amounting to N16, 369, 953, 830.48.

“For instance, from January to June this year, while Oyo had paid about N1.1billion to the university, Osun, on the other hand, had paid about N1.7 billion from January to July this year to LAUTECH Teaching Hospital. This is in addition to the N300million it released to the university in July.”

“Effectively, what this implies is that while Osun had cumulatively spent about N2billion on the institution from January to date, Oyo had only spent a little over N1billion.

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According to Mr Oyebamiji, the university is a joint responsibility and whatever decision that needs to be taken on its future must be mutually agreed upon.

“Again, for emphasis, we are committed to the joint ownership of LAUTECH and we will never shy away from our responsibilities, just as we will never sacrifice the future of the students of the university on the altar of partisan politics,” the government added.

Reacting to the claims by Osun State, the Chief Press Secretary to the Oyo Governor, Taiwo Adisa, expressed shock when PREMIUM TIMES contacted him on Wednesday.

He said; “What I understand about that statement (from Osun government) was that it was withdrawn.”

When told the release was sent on Wednesday morning and a copy was forwarded to him by this correspondent, he promised that the Oyo Government will as well react in writing.

However, after two hours of waiting before this report was filed, Mr Adisa, who declined oral response, was yet to send a written statement.

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