THE Oyo State Government has stated that over N22bn has been expended on the Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH) since 2011, confirming that the recently inaugurated Governing Council is already finding a lasting solution to the crisis in the institution.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela made this disclosure on Thursday during a Ministerial Press Briefing held at the Film Theatre of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, adding that the Governing Council has had series of meetings with the unions of the institution to resolve the current imbroglio.
According to him, the unions have consented to the forensic auditing recommended by the visitation panel to the institution and forensic audit is for all the tertiary institutions in the state to know the state of their finances, adding that tertiary institutions fees will be reviewed as the present fees being paid are highly subsidized by the government.
The Commissioner explained further that N10.5bn has been spent on LAUTECH institution, N8.317bn expended on LAUTECH teaching hospital Ogbomoso while N3.17bn has been spent on LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo from 2011 to 2017.
“It is a wrong insinuation to say that we are care free about LAUTECH crisis. We are not happy with the situation in the school but there is good news already. The unions have agreed to the forensic audit recommended by the visitation panel and the crisis is coming to an end with lasting solutions. The governing council is meeting the unions and stakeholders of the institution on a regular basis.
“The tertiary institutions fees are being subsidized by the state government. For instance, A 300-level at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education as at now is paying N8,000.00 and the highest fee being paid in LAUTECH is less than N70,000.00. We all know what the economy is saying and we are aware what is being paid in other government institutions and private ones. We are subsidizing fees paid by institutions in the state and we are committed to quality education for all. We want to assure our stakeholders in the education sector that the LAUTECH and other crisis in the sector will be resolved in due course,” the commissioner stated.
Prof Olowofela noted that there is a surgical operation going on within the education sector in the state starting with the no automatic promotion which adversely affected not only the standard of education in Oyo State but Nigeria as a whole, explaining that the state government has started a unified examination as well as harmonized grading for SS 1 & 2 students in public schools in the state to improve the state’s performances in external examinations, WAEC and NECO.
He reiterated that the efforts of the government has started yielding fruitful results with the state coming 2nd in NECO external examination in 2016, better than 12th position of 2015, urging that the media should be weary of the reports they carried so as not to mislead the general public on the present rating of the state in external examinations.
Prof Olowofela stated that the introduced School Governing Boards for Public secondary schools in the state is a master stroke that is changing the schools’ system, noting that the paradigm has changed and SGBs have improved the standard of education and infrastructures in our schools in the state.
He posited that the SGBs model will outlived the present administration as it is yielding positive results already, explaining “One of our SGB put N125m to renovate their school and they are presently trying to raise N1bn now. The SGB is a master piece that will change our school forever and we are also in the process of renovating 100 schools with about N5bn comprising of N3b counterpart funding and N1.9bn generated from the students’ levies and state government internally generated revenue.
“We want our students to take advantage of our Oyo State Model Education System Intervention (OYOMESI) to build good character of pupils and the Ajumose Legacy Note for secondary schools to download text books from the web, while the hard copies are also available in the Ministry,” the Commissioner stressed.
Prof Olowofela said that the Education Trust Fund (ETF) inaugurated recently by Governor Abiola Ajimobi would complement the budgetary allocation at all level by the government, adding that 5% of VAT to State/Local Government will go to ETF as well as 1% from IGR and 1% paid by students of private schools will go into the pool.
The Commissioner pointed out that the Technical University, Ibadan will be self-financing, saying that the government is just midwifing the university that will combined skills with hands.