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LAUTECH: Osun Based Analyst Says, Osun Pays More Than Oyo

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In this opinion writing, the Osun-based public affairs analyst, Mr Segun Awoniyi, writes on the situation of things at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) as the institution battles with repeated controversies over the years. Read the editor’s note below, as published by Legit

Joint responsibility of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) is only to the Teaching Hospital in Osogbo and the University in Ogbomoso. It does not include the Teaching Hospital in Ogbomoso, exclusively owned by the Oyo state government.

Osun is not and cannot be responsible for the payment of salaries of workers of the Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, because it is not known to law. It is never part of the joint ownership agreement and it is not recognised by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. This fact was reiterated by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Micheal Ologunde, last Thursday, at a meeting with Osun state government, with ASUU representatives in attendance.

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) appears to be the one playing politics with the lives of students and workers in LAUTECH. First, on September 26, 2019, it threatened to disrupt academic activities in the institution if the Osun state government refuses to pay their outstanding two months’ salaries.’ But at a meeting between the Osun state government and the management of LAUTECH, held in Osogbo the next day, where ASUU was represented at the meeting by Dr. Olaniyan Olatunji, welfare officer, and Chief Adeniyi Adediran, the union disowned the content of the story as published by most online and traditional media outlets, saying there was no time it ever singled out Osun as being responsible for the delay in paying their salaries.

The union’s claim that it did not single out Osun in its communique was supported by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Michael Ologunde, who read from the copy of the communique to buttress their argument. To this end, the governor requested ASUU to issue a rejoinder, since it was disowning the report that accused Osun wrongly with regard to the running of LAUTECH.

But rather than issue a rejoinder or disclaimer as the case may be, ASUU, last Sunday, issued another statement, where it appeared to be holding brief for the Oyo state government by asking if Osun state government is not aware that Oyo was paying salaries of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, an entity unknown to the joint ownership agreement, an entity unknown to law and one that is not recognised by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria. Who between Osun and ASUU is playing politics now? Previously, Osun and Oyo states who are joint owners of the university had agreed to a template that will see Oyo pay salaries of workers at the University, Ogbomoso for six months, while Osun carries the burden of paying salaries of workers at the Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, also for a period six months and vice versa.

But while Osun kept faith religiously with the above arrangement, Oyo at some point jettisoned it. This explains why from 2013 to date, only Osun has been shouldering the payment of salaries of workers at the Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, the only one known to law and the Dental and Medical Council of Nigeria, amounting to N16, 604, 510, 806.12. Also, long before the current back and forth overpayment of salaries, the rotational payment between the two states had collapsed. Therefore, the claim by ASUU that Oyo had paid from January to June 2019, and as such, Osun should pay from July to December this year, does not hold water.

The argument will only make meaning if Oyo had been paying salaries of workers at the Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, all along. As we speak, Osun has paid the July and August salaries of workers at the Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, amounting to N465, 480, 475.31. Also, within the same period that ASUU claimed Oyo paid salaries of workers at the University, in Ogbomoso, Osun also paid salaries of workers at the Teaching Hospital, Osogbo. It will, therefore, be unfair for ASUU to single out Osun as being solely responsible for non-payment of salaries at the university, Ogbomoso, especially because for every kobo Oyo state had contributed in running LAUTECH in the last two years till date, Osun had contributed twice the amount. In addition to all that Osun had contributed to the Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, this year alone, it again supported the university in Ogbomoso, with N300, 000,000.00, in July, this year. In effect, what this means is that while Osun had cumulatively spent over N2billion on the institution from January to date, Oyo had only spent a little over N1billion.

In 2017, Osun contributed N1, 292, 000, 000. 00 to the University alone, and N1, 852, 324, 279.39 to the university’s Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, making a total of N3, 144, 324, 279.39. But Oyo contributed only N717, 888, 795.00 to the university, without contributing a penny to the Teaching Hospital in Osogbo, the only one recognised by law and the Dental and Medical Council. In 2018, Osun again contributed N2, 365, 678, 157.96 to the Teaching Hospital in Osogbo and another N500, 000, 000.00 to the university, bringing a total contribution for that year to N2, 865, 678,157.96.

What do we have from Oyo? A paltry N443, 866,554.60. In the current year so far, Osun had contributed N1, 890, 515, 268.18 to the Teaching Hospital in Osogbo and another N300,000,000.00 to the university in Ogbomoso, making a total of N2, 190, 515, 268.18. Whereas, Oyo had only contributed N1, 109, 842, 227.63.

Again, for the umpteenth time, no penny had been contributed to the University Teaching Hospital in Osogbo. The bulk of the infrastructure of the university is located in Ogbomoso. Seven and a half faculties are located in the place alone while only half is located in Osun state. Staff strength too is 80 per cent to 20 per cent in favour of Oyo. What about students’ enrolment, it is again in favour of Oyo state. If in spite of the obvious lopsidedness, Osun had made these humongous contributions to the institution, is it fair to still single it out for vilification, while Oyo state is made good in the eyes of the public? Common!

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