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Current situation in LAUTECH: Management finally breaks silence.

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IT has become imperative for Management to put the records straight regarding the current situation in Ladoke Akintola University of Technology LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, more so, that the general public is being fed with a lot of untruth on the issues involved.

 

This Administration came into office on July 29, 2011 at the height of the ownership crisis which threatened the very existence of the University. The entire membership of staff was polarised along ethnic divides resulting in serious distrust. This took its tolls on the academic programmes of the University with many of them, including medical programme, losing their accreditation.

The daunting challenges notwithstanding, the Administration braced up and with the strategies put in place, peace returned to the University and until June 2016, tremendous progress and achievements were recorded. Some of these are highlighted as follow:

 

1.       On the Use of IGR to Augment subventions from State Governments and pay Salary

 

The total sum of Nineteen billion, one hundred and seven million, one hundred and fifty four thousand, five hundred and forty Naira, sixty six kobo (=N=19,107,154,540.66) only being the total salaries excluding casual labour wages for the period between January, 2012 to December, 2016 was paid by this Management. A total sum of eleven billion, ninety-eight million, seven hundred and seventy three thousand, nine hundred and fifty eight Naira and fifty six kobo (=N=11,098,773,958.56) only represents the total subvention released by the States for the same period.

Out of this amount, the Government of Oyo State contributed a total sum of Seven billion, five hundred and forty seven million, one hundred and thirty-eight thousand, one hundred and fifty-seven Naira, twenty four kobo (=N=7,547,138,157:24)  only while the State of Osun paid a total subvention of Three billion, five hundred and fifty one million, six hundred and thirty five thousand, eight hundred and one Naira, thirty two kobo  (=N=3,551,635,801:32)  only within the stated period.

If we deduct the total amount paid as subventions by the two State Governments from the expected subventions due to the University within the period, it gives a difference of Six billion, Seven hundred and forty eight million, seven hundred and fifty seven thousand, eight hundred and seventy one Naira and fifty kobo (=N=6,748,757,871.50) only which was what the present Management used to augment the subvention released by the two States during this period using IGR. Please note that the two State Governments did not provide a kobo as running or Capital Grants to the University during the period.

When the University began to experience funding challenges in 2014, (owing to non-release of subventions, first by the State of Osun and later by Oyo State) Management was constrained by its desire not to allow a reversal of the good progress being made; it, therefore resorted to using Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to pay salaries. The reasoning then was that Management could not be watching staff members starving while funds (which they actually worked for) are kept in banks for the benefits of the banks. This decision was taken after due consultation with the Staff Unions and approval sought from the Governing Council.

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It is important to note that all of these were made possible because of the commitment and cooperation of the members of the University community particularly the members of the Management who agreed to make sacrifices in forgoing some legitimate perquisites. Some of them are non-collection of Imprest for over two (2) years, reduction of per diem of members of Management while on official trip/assignment, non-attendance of conferences, seminars and workshops to mention some but a few.

 

2.       Use of IGR for other staff welfare since 2011

Before the assumption of office of this Management, a sum of Two hundred and fifty million Naira (=N=250,000,000:00) only being the balance of loan obtained by one of the past Administrations was settled by the present Administration using Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The sum of Ten million Naira (=N=10,000,000:00)only being loan obtained by the past Management of LAUTECH Ventures was also outstanding and only got settled by this Management using IGR. The Council and Management then put in place the process of complete reorganisation of the Ventures with a view to meeting the economic challenges and generating expected revenue to the University. This process was at the final stage of implementation before the commencement of the industrial strike actions embarked upon by the unions on campus last year.

Another debt of One hundred and thirteen million, five hundred and thirty three thousand and sixty five Naira, sixty eight kobo (=N= 113,533,065.68) only, representing the outstanding retirees’  gratuity was settled by the present Management, on assumption of office, using IGR. In addition to this, about four (4) months’ salary deductions and promotion arrears were inherited by this Management and settled using IGR.

The total sum of One billion, eight hundred and twenty nine million, twenty six thousand, nine hundred and forty four Naira, forty six kobo(=N=1,829,026,944.46) only being the arrears of CONUSS/CONPUA and Hazard Allowances on the assumption of duty of the present Administration and was equally settled using IGR.

The total sum of One billion, five hundred and ninety eight million, five hundred and sixteen thousand, thirty nine Naira and seventy six kobo(=N=1,598,516,039.76) only being arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) and Earned Allowances (EA) was paid to workers between 2012 and 2013 also using IGR. It should be noted that the Federal Government made provisions for the payment of these arrears to Federal Universities. The University Management wrote several letters to the Owner-States for the refund of this amount paid on their behalf to the workers up till date the refund is yet to be effected.

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Furthermore, In order to ensure transparency and prudency, Management had always involved the Staff Unions in the decisions to disburse the IGR.  A University Finance Committee with its membership drawn from all the Unions and the Management, has been put in place.

 

3.       Academic Activities

Given the peaceful atmosphere and a little motivation to the staff, the University was able to run its academic calendars smoothly. Two convocation ceremonies were held in 2014 and 2015 in addition to the installation of the Chancellor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This was made possible by the selfless contributions of the University Staff and approval by Senate and Council.

 

All the academic programs, including the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MB, BS)

regained accreditations from the different Professional Bodies and the National Universities Commission (NUC). The academic culture of inaugural lectures was restored. Both students and staff shone brilliantly at National and International conferences and competitions winning laurels. The University made good progress as regards collaborations and linkages with Universities within and outside Nigeria.

 

4.       Operating ninety seven (97) Bank Accounts

It is important to state that majority of the bank accounts were opened and maintained by the past Administrations and inherited by the present Administration in 2011 when it assumed office. It is equally important to state that the decision to prune down the number of accounts was recommended by Management and approved by Council. This is contrary to claims made by the representatives of the two Governments. Up till today, there is no single correspondence from either Oyo or Osun States before the University Management to operate a Treasury Single Account.

 

5.       Bursary Department having ten (10) Chief Accountants

The University was established twenty seven (27) years ago and has been expanding both in size and operations. The staff of Bursary Department just like that of any other departments in the University was inherited by this Administration and the staff has just been growing with the University. It is pertinent to state that the present Administration since its assumption of office in 2011 has employed only one staff who is a professional to head the Public and Alumni Relation Unit (PARU) of the University to work on the redemption of the battered image of the University as a result of the ownership crises during the past Administration in the year 2010.

 

6.       Bursary Department Using Manual Accounting System

Since the inception of this Administration a lot of efforts have been made by Council and Management to ensure that the operations of both Bursary and Audit Departments are computerised. The process of awarding the contract was at the final stage awaiting the approval at the next Council meeting before the commencement of the industrial action embarked upon by the unions on campus last year.

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7.       Comparing LAUTECH with UNIOSUN

LAUTECH was licensed on 23rd April, 1990 and commenced academic business on 19th October, 1990 twenty (27) years ago while UNIOSUN was licensed on 21st December, 2006 and commenced operations on 21st September, 2007 precisely ten (10) years ago, comparing these two Universities may not give a fair result for the following reasons:

Age of the two Universities which tends to make LAUTECH to be bigger than UNIOSUN in terms of size and operating costs/overheads;

The staff strength of LAUTECH is higher than that of UNIOSUN in view of the age of the later.

The retirement benefits being paid monthly and annually by LAUTECH cannot be compared with that of UNIOSUN.

 

8.       The KPMG Issue

The University has been in communication with the KPMG and in the latest mail received on Monday, June 5, 2017, the organisation stated categorically that a new date for the commencement of the auditing would be conveyed to the University once some contractual issues are sorted out with Oyo State Government. Management had indeed confirmed its readiness to cooperate with KPMG knowing fully well that the audit exercise would be in the interest of the University on the long run.

 

9.       Concluding Remark

Management wishes to appreciate the concern of all stakeholders especially the Governments and people of the two Owner-States of Oyo and Osun and indeed all Nigerians who are contributing their own quota to the efforts to resolve the crisis in LAUTECH. The students should please know that all the stakeholders share in their plight and are determined to find a lasting solution to the crisis. The cooperation and support of the Staff Unions to the concerted efforts being made towards moving the University forward are well appreciated.

Given the determination of the Governments of the two Owner-States to end the crisis in the shortest time possible, it is certain that normalcy will return to the University soon. Management also hopes that the University will soon be able to resume its progressive march towards the highest level of excellence.

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Oyo commissioner, Olatunbosun urges citizens to disregard panic messages over ultimatum to herdsmen

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Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun has disclosed that citizens of the State should disregard a voice note message urging people in Ibadan to stay indoors on Friday 22nd of January due to a purported ultimatum issued by some individuals to a Fulani Community in Igangan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State.

Recall that the State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has warned individuals to respect the constitutional rights of any Nigerian to live anywhere in the country in a peaceful manner and condemned the said ultimatum in a state broadcast to the people of the state

A voice note, being circulated on Wednesday by one woman from London simply known as ‘Remi’ has urged residents of Ibadan to stay indoors on Friday so as to avoid any crisis that might arise from the outcome of the ultimatum issued to the Fulani Herdsmen Community in Igangan.

Olatubosun said the message was targeted at causing panic among the people and to tarnish the efforts of the present administration in tackling insecurity in the State.

He said Oyo State indigenes at home and in the diaspora ought to give support to the government and not to cause disaffection and unnecessary panic over an issue that has been adequately addressed by the government and concerned security agencies.

He added that the people of the State, especially in Ibadan should go about their businesses without fear of molestation or attack from any quarter.

“It is funny to hear that somebody was sending voice note from London, warning Ibadan people not to venture out on Friday because of an ultimatum issued to a Fulani Herdsmen Community in Igangan, in Ibarapa area.

“This is an issue that has been addressed by the government that nobody has the power to give such ultimatum, the constitution of Nigeria does not allow for it, especially when the said Community is not constituting security threat to lives and properties of the people.

“The government of Oyo State and security apparatus are working around the clock to give the people of the State the required peaceful atmosphere that will engender economic growth, we therefore urge our people, especially in Ibadan to ignore the voice note message and go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation or attack from any quarter.”

The commissioner called on the residents of the State to be wary of scaremongers who he said could create psychological crisis where such was not in existence.

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‘Our enemies are kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers, not Hausa-Fulani’, says Makinde

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Oyo state governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde has reiterated that his administration is determined to bring insecurity to its knees in the state by dealing decisively with troublemakers.

Governor Makinde, who made the declaration in a state-wide broadcast to residents of the state, aired on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), on Wednesday urged residents to come together and put the interest of Oyo State first in the fight against  insecurity.

He averred that the collective efforts of all residents of the state is the only way to continue to keep the peace and sustain the secure environment, which he said, has contributed to the growth of the state’s economy in the past.

The governor added that his administration is taking all necessary steps to protect the people from harassment, thuggery, cultism and banditry, noting that the state “has the situation under control.”

Governor Makinde promised to deal with anyone disrupting the peace of the state.

This is coming a few days after a police report indicated that the rate of armed robbery incidents in the state reduced by more than 32 per cent in 2020,  compared to the previous year 2019.

The state government has also expressed its determination to stamp out brigandage, kidnapping and other violent crimes.

Makinde emphasized that the state has a common enemy in hoodlums, bandits and kidnappers, who, he said, have been fomenting troubles in the state.

He noted that the enemies of Oyo State are neither the Hausa-Fulani pastoralists, who are looking for pasture for their flock nor the farmers, who are seeking to produce food for human consumption.

He warned individuals going about issuing ultimatum to Fulani residents of the state to desist from such acts, declaring that as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, he, as governor, would protect every Nigerian’s rights to reside in any part of the country.

Governor Makinde told individuals or groups planning to take actions that would lead to the forcible removal of anyone from the state to desist from such line of action, noting that anyone who fails to abide by his directive will face the full wrath of the law.

Governor Makinde warned residents of the state against taking judgement into their hands,  adding that there are bodies constitutionally empowered to arrest and prosecute criminals.

He said that the  responsibility of residents is to help the security agencies  identify the enemies of the people.

The governor equally acknowledged the efforts of some officers of the Nigeria Police Force who, according to him, have resumed their constitutional duties of maintaining law and order in the state, even as he encouraged the leadership of the Police to continue to collaborate with his administration to secure the state.

“The past few weeks’ events have made it imperative that I address issues that have to do with the internal security of our dear state.

“We cannot overlook the fact that there have indeed been instances that cause concern. The fragile peace between the herdsmen and farmers in Oke Ogun is being threatened. “Individuals who are not authorised are going around chasing people from their homes and causing mayhem. This assault on residents of Oyo State is not the way to further the Yoruba cause.

“Let me state that we shall not sit back and watch anyone make any law-abiding resident of Oyo State feel unsafe in their homes, farms, or business places. We are aware of some people circulating flyers and giving people ultimatums to leave their land. This is totally unacceptable and will not be condoned.

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“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which I swore to defend and protect, guarantees freedom of movement in Section 41(1), such that citizens are free to reside in any part of the country without fear. We are determined to preserve that right in Oyo State”, he said.

The governor, who called on local government chairpersons, traditional rulers and other sectors of the state to work with the security agencies to secure the state and ensure maximum peace said: “All Local Government and Local Council Development Area Chairpersons are directed to work with the traditional rulers and the officers of the security agencies to ensure that peace is maintained in all parts of the state.

“Let me also use this medium to speak to our traditional rulers. They must not be part of any plans to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of residents of Oyo State.

“I must reiterate that we will not hesitate to take appropriate action against any individuals who try to disrupt the peace in Oyo State. Our administration is taking all necessary steps to protect the good people of Oyo State from harassment, thuggery and banditry. We believe we have the situation under control.

“It is time for us to come together and put the interests of our state first. We have a common enemy. That enemy is not the Hausa- Fulani who is looking for pasture for his flock. It is not the farmer who just wants to grow food to sell in the market or to feed his family. Our enemies are the hoodlums, cultists, armed robbers, kidnappers and bandits. These people live among us.

“With our collective efforts, we can continue to keep the peace in Oyo State. Together, we can preserve the secure environment that has contributed to the growth of our economy”, the governor concluded.

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Ondo youth group backs Akeredolu, says no going back on quit notice to herders

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The leadership of Ondo State Youth Network, a coordinated group of Youth and Students leaders across the state have thrown it’s full weight behind Governor Rotimi Akeredolu pronouncement ordering herdsmen to vacate Ondo state within seven days.

It will be recalled that Governor Akeredolu on Monday in a statement ordered Herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in the state and also outlawed Under-age grazing, Night-grazing and also banned the movement of Cattle within the cities and highways of the state.

Akeredolu’s order was in response to the killings and kidnappings happening in the state, which have largely been blamed on Fulani herdsmen through reported stories of victims and survivors of their brutality.

However, the Presidency, through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu on Tuesday condemned this order, insisting that the Governor should not enforce such .

Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday, the group’s publicist, Oluwatosin Akinbulumo informed that the leadership of the network and all her members are in total support of the governor’s order as it is a sacred steps towards ensuring the safety of residents of the state and their properties.

“Our forests have become haven to evil kidnappers and one of the deadliest terrorist group in the world causing great havoc on innocent citizens of the state and commuters. The governor’s order is a welcome development which will serve as a pedestal towards the cleansing of our forest off these demonic agents.

“As a development-oriented youth group, we believe assured security is an important catalyst for growth and sustainability, and we can’t afford to fold our hands and allow some evil agents jeopardize the peace and tranquility we enjoy in Ondo State”, he said.

Speaking further, Oluwatosin stated that the youth group is ready to mobilize young men and women of the state to defend the borders of the state if the State Government is cowed by the Presidency and end up not enforcing the earlier announced order.

He added, “We will not hesitate to mobilize heavily to confront these killers masquerading as herdsmen if the Governor refuse to ‘do the talk’, and ensure they vacate our forest and highways within the seven days ultimatum announced by the Governor”.

The group’s mouthpiece also encouraged other State Governors in Southwest to follow in the path of Governor Akeredolu.

“These herdsmen are all over Southwest, from Saki in Oyo State to Shagamu in Ogun State, they are everywhere and have found refuge in our forest reserves from where they perpetrate the heinous acts causing havoc on our people. Our Governors must unite to ensure the peace we enjoy in Southwest remain nonnegotiable”, he continued.

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