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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: Makinde Mother’s Burial Holds December

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Body of Chief   (Mrs.) Abigail Makinde, the mother of Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde will be interred  in the first week of December.

Governor Makinde disclosed this yesterday while playing host to a delegation from the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade Odundun II, which was in Ibadan, the state capital to commiserate with him on the death of his mother.

The governor said he was very delighted with the visit, urging Akure people, the kingdom where his mother was born, to actively participate in her funeral.

Makinde, who  described them as one of the most upright, bold  and honest  people in Yoruba land and the nation at large, also added that his late mother was a role model whose dedication to work, uprightness, boldness and honesty were the traits of Akure people.

A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde,  quoted the governor as saying “when you see an average Akure man or woman, you see courage and see people who are true to their words.”

While delivering the condolence message from the Deji of Akure, the leader of the delegation, who is the Asae of Akure Kingdom, Senior High Chief Sola Adegbonmire, described the governor’s mother as a worthy daughter of Akure Kingdom.

He stressed that the Omoregie family, where Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde hailed from, is a family of exceptional and wonderful people in Akureland.

Oba Aladetoyinbo further described the death of Madam Makinde as a painful loss not only to the Makinde family but also to the entire Akure Kingdom.

He then prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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‘My mother was an epitome of love, humility’ – Gov. Makinde mourns

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The Oyo  state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has described his late mother, Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde, as an epitome of love and humility, despite being a disciplinarian.

The governor stated this on Friday while receiving the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Sencondus, on a condolence visit to his house at Ikolaba GRA, Ibadan.

According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor expressed gratitude to the PDP NWC, noting that the fact that the leadership of the party made it to Ibadan barely 24 hours after Mama’s demise showed the love they have for him.

The statement also noted that apart from the PDP NWC entourage, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo, and Delta States, Alhaji Daud Akinola, Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyy Abubakri Agbotomokekere, the Grand Mufti of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdul Fatai Alaga, and other Muslim leaders also paid condolence visits to the governor.

Similarly, the Oyo State Judiciary led by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Muntar Abimbola, and the General Officer Commanding, 2 Div, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Anthony Omozoje, were also at the Makinde residence to condole with the governor.

Speaking while receiving the PDP entourage, which included the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd); Deputy National Secretary; National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi MaiBasira; National Woman Leader, Hajia Mariya Waziri; National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, as well a leader of the PDP from Osun State, Hon. Soji Adagunodo, Governor Makinde said the family remains grateful to God for the life Mama lived.

He said: “I want to thank you most sincerely for this condolence visit. I want to say, on behalf of myself, my wife, immediate family, and extended family, we are very grateful and appreciative of this visit. This happened yesterday morning and you are here this morning. It shows that you truly love me. So, I want to say thank you.

“Actually, we were preparing for my mummy’s 81st birthday, which would have been on the November 7, exactly three weeks from yesterday. But who are we to question God?

“We are grateful to God for the life she lived. To us, she was an epitome of love, humility. She was tough. If you see that trait in some of us, it came from her. And we also thank God that it was not like we were carrying her from one hospital to the other. She died peacefully in her sleep. So, we thank God for what He has done.”

Governor Makinde, who also took the opportunity to appreciate the PDP NWC for the confidence it had in him to lead the Ondo State governorship campaign, said what the outcome of the election meant was that the party would have to go back to the drawing board, adding that the campaign council will submit a report as soon as practicable.

“I will also like to use this opportunity to thank the National Working Committee of our great party for the opportunity you gave to us to lead the campaign in Ondo State. We can’t question God for the outcome of that election. What it means is that we have to go back to the drawing board. We will be submitting a report of those areas where we fell short, to the NWC as soon as practicable.

“I really want to use this opportunity to thank all of you who were there in Akure for the love of our party and for the support that you gave to our candidate in Ondo State.

“Once again, my Chairman, I am appreciative of this visit and I thank you and all the members of the NWC of our party.”

Earlier, the PDP national chairman said that the visit was to condole with the governor and the family for the loss of their mother.

He said: “A time like this is the time you know those who care and those who are with you. Unfortunately, we have two situations on our hands. We lost the chairman of the party in Zamfara. Obviously, we divided ourselves; the Deputy National Chairman of the party left for Zamfara yesterday morning for the burial of our late chairman of the party. And I and the rest of us in the National Working Committee leadership decided yesterday to come to Ibadan today.

“We are here by the grace of God to console you and the rest of the members of your family. We have no other way to do it than to join you in prayers.

“It is a very painful experience that you have to go through, sometimes alone. I know what it is because I have experienced it. It is only God that can fill the vacuum in your heart because the care of a mother is quite different from that of a father.

“So, on behalf of the leadership of our party, we are here to console you on this condolence visit. The Lord will strengthen you. And because you are one of our best and doing good works for the people of Oyo State and at this time that you are giving out your best, suddenly, God who gives has taken your beloved mother.

“We are here to share the pain and sorrow with you and to let you know we will continue in prayers during this period, even as we prepare for the funeral. After the funeral, we will continue to pray for you, your immediate and larger family. It is important for us to do so, having worked with you and having seen you as a man who is compassionate and cares for others.

“Today, we are here with you and we pray that God will energise you at this period and stretch His right hand of righteousness to touch every one of the members of the family to bear this great loss.

“Therefore, as members of the National Working Committee, we pray that God will keep you now and thereafter to make you continue to do the good work for the people of Oyo State

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Nigeria: Group drums support for #ENDSARS

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Benchmark Group of Nigeria on Friday declared its support for the ongoing peaceful #EndSARS protests, as Nigerians  speak up against police brutality.

Akanbi Bukola, founder of the group in a chat with Mega Icon Magazine said it is imperative to identify with Nigerians as protests continue around the country to end police brutality and the abuse of power by the institution established to protect its citizenry.

She noted that aside corruption and oppression from the hands of some elements of the Nigeria Police Force, “this time around, Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic or political biases,  must come together to eradicate police brutality once and for all in the society”.

According to her, for many Nigerians, the police has failed to fulfill its mandate of providing public security as enshrined in the constitution, adding that officers are now viewed more as predators than protectors.

Akanbi lamented further that Nigerians struggling to make ends meet are accosted on a daily basis by these officers who demand bribes and commit abuses against them as a means of extorting money.

“Those who fail to pay are usually threatened with arrest and physical harm, by those expected to protect them”, she said.

Akanbi, however called for the overall reform of the country’s police force.

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