By G9ija

The crisis of interest between Oyo and Osun state governments over the ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Science and Technology (LAUTECH) may have been laid to rest, as the National Universities Commission (NUC), yesterday, ceded the institution to Oyo State. 

The intercessor, NUC, also ceded the College of Health Sciences, located in Osogbo, to Osun State. Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, made the announcement in Abuja, where he clarified that the administrative and other remuneration costs would be borne by the Oyo State Government, while the Osun State Government would bear the financial burden of the College of Health Sciences. 

Recall that LAUTECH in Ogbomosho was established in 1990 by the old Oyo State government with the main campus located in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, while the teaching hospital was established in Osogbo, now Osun State capital. x

Trouble started when Osun was carved out of the old Oyo State in 1991, making both states joint owners of the institution, an arrangement characterised by governance and management challenges, which affected the appointment of vice chancellors to run the affairs of the institution. 

It was also gathered that there has been issues with irregular payment of staff salaries over the years, as both parties were not taking responsibility. 

To this end, the NUC constituted a tripartite committee, which commenced its assignment on March 15, this year, with extensive meetings and interactions with the governors of both states and other stakeholders. 

Following an update of the valuation of assets and liabilities, including a forensic audit, the negotiation retreat, culminating in the sharing of the assets and liabilities meeting in Lagos between November 8 and 12, where they arrived at a resolution. x

Rasheed said: “It is gratifying to note that after extensive deliberations, negotiation and consultations, both owner states mutually agreed terms and the joint ownership of LAUTECH was formally dissolved. 

“The mutually agreed dissolution was formalised through the signing of a memorandum of agreement by the Governors of Oyo and Osun states, witnessed by the attorneys general of both states, giving legal effect to the transfer of ownership of LAUTECH to the government of Oyo State and the College of Health Sciences to the government of Osun State.” 

In an attempt to find lasting solutions to the crisis, the tripartite committee engaged in re-evaluation and updating of the assets and liabilities of the university by relevant professionals from both states to ascertain their current values. The forensic audit was carried out by Deloitte and Touche, which included the delineation of assets and liabilities.