The present feud between the governments of Oyo and Osun States over funding of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, has been identified as an indication that government could no longer fund the university.
A former Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde, made the assertion during the 11th Annual lecture of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Alumni Association held at Atlantis Event Centre, Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.
Speaking on the topic, “Public University Funding in a Dwelling Economy”, Professor Ojerinde charged the governors of Osun and Oyo States to find lasting solution to the lingering crisis that has been impeding the academic activities of the institution for the past few months.
LAUTECH is an institution jointly owned and funded by the governments of Osun and Oyo states, since its creation, but the institution has been facing series of challenges occasioned by the inability of each of the state governments to contribute its own subvention to the university.
In his lecture, Professor Ojerinde called on related agencies and individuals in education sector to look into the LAUTECH matter, just as he urged the Alumni to awake to the realities and think of a way to rescue the situation.
“The alumni should be opened to see fund creation means to run the university”, he said.
Professor Ojerinde, who bemoaned the meager funding emanating from the governments to the tertiary institutions, noted that the only institution that enjoyed enormous funding from the government was military and paramilitary institutions.
He urged the Tertiary Education Trust Fund to extend the financial support being given to the state and government owned tertiary institutions to the private universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, saying the fund is being generated from the taxes and levies being paid by everybody.
Ojerinde advocated that private tertiary institutions should have the right to benefit from funds generated by TETFUND.
According to Ojerinde “If TETFUND is responsible for funding tertiary institutions, why is there segregation against private institutions? The money accrued by TETFUND are generated from taxation levies paid by private sectors.
“Then I don’t know why private people’s money shouldn’t be used to fund private people’s university.
“The private universities are suffering because they can’t break even due to lack of enough students,” he explained.
He encouraged tertiary institutions to invest in agriculture and all other possible avenues to generate funds.
Speaking on the disparity between the polytechnics and the university, the ex-JAMB registrar explained that technical education in Nigeria would never improve as long as the people continue to classify some tertiary institution graduates as second class and others as first class.
He stated that there should not be disparity between the polytechnic and university graduates, saying they should all be treated equally.
In his address, the National President, Alumni Association, LAUTECH, Mr Babajide Bewaji, lamented the crisis witnessed by the school for the past five months.
Bewaji said: “It is very sad that we find ourselves in this situation. The students have been sitting at home for the five months. But the alumni have made its recommendations to the school concerning the issue. The alumni are looking into funding the school.
“The school has made us, and we should give back to it”.