The Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso 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.
- However, over the years, the joint ownership arrangement has been characterized by governance/management challenges, affecting the appointment of Vice-chancellor and other Principal Officers, as well as the non-payment of staff salaries. In September 2010, in an attempt to resolve these challenges and restore normalcy to enable the university focus on the achievement of its mission, the National Universities Commission constituted a Transition Committee to oversee the affairs of the Institution for three (3) months. Although the Transition Committee’s report contained some far-reaching recommendations on the resolution of the crisis including a legal framework for the sharing of assets and liabilities by the two owner states of Oyo and Osun, the dissolution of the joint ownership arrangement was nt implemented.
Consequently, the crisis in LAUTECH continued unabated with the concomitant erosion of its reputational capital and loss of institutional goodwill .
- In response to renewed appeals and calls by various stakeholders for further intervention by the National Universities Commission, including a meeting with the Governor of Oyo State, a Tripartite Committee, comprising representatives of Osun and Oyo States chaired by the NUC Deputy Executive (Academics), , was constituted to interface with stakeholders towards finding a lasting solution to the seemingly intractable crisis.
- The tripartite Committee commenced its assignment on 15th March, 2020. It paid courtesy visits and held extensive meetings and interactions with the Governors of Osun and Oyo States and other stakeholders, including the Management and staff of the Institution as well as staff Unions. The Committee also received written memoranda/position papers from the University Management, Staff Unions and the governments of Osun and Oyo States.
- 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 undertook critical activities, namely:
i) Re-evaluation and updating of the Assets and liabilities of the University by relevant professionals from Oyo and Osun States in order to ascertain their current values;
ii) Forensic audit of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, and the University Teaching Hospital in Osogbo from inception to date by the audit firm of Deloitte and Touche; and
iii) Delineation of assets and liabilities for sharing by the two owner states of Oyo and Osun by Deloitte and Touche.
- Submission of the reports of the updated valuation of assets and liabilities, and the forensic audit was followed by close study and extensive deliberations among tripartite committee members and relevant professionals which culminated in a negotiation retreat
- The high-powered negotiation retreat on the sharing of the assets and liabilities of LAUTECH by Oyo and Osun States was held in Lagos from 8th to 11th November, 2020 with top-ranking officials of both states, including one of the deputy Governors in attendance.
- It is gratifying to note that after extensive deliberations, negotiations, consultations, both owner states mutually agreed terms and the joint ownership of LAUTECH was formally dissolved.
9, The mutually agreed dissolution was formalized through the signing of a memorandum of agreement which has been signed 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 Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) to the Government of Oyo state.
- The National Universities Commission wishes to commend and express its profound gratitude to the Executive Governor of Osun state His Excellency Gboyega Oyetola and His Excellency Governor Seyi Makinde for their exemplary statesmanship , leadership and tremendous sacrifice by putting the interest of LAUTECH and its over 30,000 students above political and other considerations.
- The commitment, determination and sacrifices of the chairman and members of the tripartite committee on LAUTECH are sincerely appreciated.
- NUC stands ready to work with all stakeholders to ensure the full and faithful implementation of the terms of the agreement in all its ramifications and shall play our 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 so that it may ultimately occupy its rightful place as a reputable university of technology making cutting edge contribution to the advancement of knowledge and the technological and socio-economic development and global competitiveness of the nation.
Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, CFR, FNAL