By G9ija

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde on Wednesday inaugurated a five-man committee, headed by Prof. Ayodeji Omole, to work out modalities for the termination of joint ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso.

The reporters stated that other members include a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Chief Jumoke Akinjide and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Bolaji Ayorinde.

The remaining members are the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo and his Education counterpart, Prof. Dawud Sangodoyin.

LAUTECH, jointly owned by Oyo and Osun states, was originally established on April 23, 1990 as Oyo State University of Technology.

The creation of Osun from Oyo State in August 1991 led to the change of the institution’s name to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, with the two states having joint ownership.

However, the funding and management of the institution, which has two campuses: one in Ogbomoso, Oyo State and the other in Osogbo, Osun, has been a major challenge, leading to irregular payment of subventions and unpaid salaries.

The situation had, in 2017, degenerated into major crisis, resulting in protracted industrial action by the workers and eventual closure of the institution, which had only recently reopened.

Speaking at the inauguration at the council chamber of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, Makinde urged the committee to carry out the assignment in the overall interest of the institution and the state as a whole.

He directed the committee to come up with a preliminary report within four weeks.

Makinde said Oyo State bore no grudge against Osun over the situation in the institution, but noted that it was obvious that the joint ownership of the institution by the two states could no longer work.

He said it would be unfair to allow the students, lecturers, management and business concerns linked to the university to continue to suffer.

Prof. Omole, the chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan chapter, assured the governor that the committee would discharge the task with integrity and courage