By Kuni Tyessi
The long time disagreement between the Oyo and Osun State Governments over the ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso has been laid to rest as Oyo State has taken ownership of the university.
Subsequently, the institution’s teaching hospital, which is based in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, will be solely the responsibility of the Osun State Government.
LAUTECH was established in 1990 by the old Oyo State Government with the main campus located in Ogbomoso.
The teaching hospital was subsequently established in Osogbo. When Osun State was carved out of the old Oyo State in 1991, both states became joint owners of the institution.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, who disclosed this Friday in Abuja, said the decision was as a result of governance and management challenges which consequently was affecting the appointments of vice-chancellors and other principal officers, as well as irregular payment of staff salaries.
He said in 2010, when it became obvious that the joint ownership of the institution was an issue, and in an attempt to resolve the challenges and restore normalcy, a transition committee was set up by the commission to oversee the affairs of the university for three months.
According to him, “The mutually agreed dissolution was formalised through the signing of a memorandum of agreement by the executive governors of Oyo and Osun States witnessed by the attorneys general of both states, giving legal effect to the transfer of ownership of LAUTECH to the government of Oyo State and the College of Health Sciences, Osogbo to the government of Osun State.
“In a bid to achieve an equitable and mutually agreeable dissolution of the joint ownership of LAUTECH by Osun and Oyo States, in the overall interest of the university and in consonance with the stipulations of the legal framework which had been adopted by both states, the tripartite committee critical activities, namely:
“Reevaluation and updating of the assets and liabilities of the university by relevant professionals from Osun and Oyo States in order to ascertain their current values.
“Forensic audit of LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, and the University Teaching Hospital, Osogbo from inception to date by the audit firm of Deloitte and Touche: and delineation of assets and liabilities for sharing by the two owner states of Oyo and Osun States.”
He said the commission stands ready to work with all the stakeholders to ensure full and faithful implementation of the terms of agreement in all of its ramifications and will okay its part in ensuring that LAUTECH gets back on track in a harmonious milieu conducive to the discharge of its tripodal mandates of teaching, research and community service.