Oyo State Government has said that over N22bn has been expended on the Ladoke Akintola University (LAUTECH) since 2011, confirming that the recently inaugurated Governing Council is already finding a lasting solution to the crisis in the institution.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology Professor Adeniyi Olowofela, who made the disclosure on Thursday during a Ministerial Press Briefing, held at the Film Theatre, Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, revealed that the Governing Council has had a series of meetings with the Unions of the institution to resolve the current imbroglio, saying that the unions have consented to the forensic auditing recommended by the visitation panel to the institution.
Prof. Olowofela said that the forensic audit is for all the tertiary institutions in the state to know the state of their finances, saying that the tertiary institution’s fees will be reviewed as the present fees being paid are highly subsidized by the government.
The Commissioner explained that N10.5bn has been spent on LAUTECH as an institution, N8.317bn expended on LAUTECH teaching hospital Ogbomoso while N3.17bn has been spent on LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo from 2011 to 2017 adding, “It is a wrong insinuation to say that we are care free about the LAUTECH crisis. We are not happy with the situation in the school but there is good news already. The unions have agreed to the forensic audit recommended by the visitation panel and the crisis is coming to an end with lasting solutions. The governing council is meeting the unions and stakeholders of the institution on a regular basis.
“Tertiary institutions’ fees are being subsidized by the state government. For instance, A 300-level student at the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education as at now is paying N8,000.00 and the highest fee being paid in LAUTECH is less than N70,000.00. We all know what the economy is saying and we are aware what is being paid in other government institutions and private ones. We are subsidizing fees paid in institutions in the state and we are committed to quality education for all. We want to assure our stakeholders in the education sector that the LAUTECH and other crisis in the sector will be resolved in due course,” the commissioner disclosed.
Prof. Olowofela noted that there is a surgical operation going on in the education sector in the state starting with automatic promotion which adversely affected the standard of education not only in Oyo state but Nigeria as a whole; explaining that the state government has introduced the ‘No Automatic Promotion” policy and started a unified examination system as well as harmonized grading for S.S 1 & 2 students in public schools in the state to improve the state’s performances in external examinations, WAEC and NECO.
He noted that the efforts of the government has started yielding fruitful results with the state coming 2nd in NECO external examination in 2016, better than 12th position of 2015, urging that the media should be wary of the reports they publish so as not to mislead the general public on the present rating of the state in external examinations.
Prof. Olowofela stated that the recently introduced School Governing Boards for Public secondary schools in the state is a master stroke that is changing the schools’ system, emphasising that the paradigm has changed and the SGBs are improving the standard of education and infrastructures in Oyo State schools.
He posited that the SGB model will outlive the present administration as it is yielding positive results already, explaining “One of our SGBs put N125m to renovate their school and they are presently trying to raise N1bn now. The SGB is a master stroke that will change education in the state forever. The Government has also approved and initiated the process of renovating 100 schools with about N5bn comprising of N3b counterpart funding and N1.9bn which is a combination of funds generated from the students’ levies and state government’s internally generated revenue.
“We want our students to take advantage of our Oyo State Model Education System Intervention (OYOMESI) to build good character and the Ajumose Legacy Note for secondary schools to download text books from the web, while the hard copies are also available in the Ministry,” the Commissioner stressed.
Prof. Olowofela said that the Education Trust Fund (ETF) inaugurated recently by Governor Abiola Ajimobi would complement the budgetary allocation at all levels by the government, adding that 5% of VAT to State/Local Government will go to ETF as well as 1% from IGR and 1% paid by students of private schools will go into the pool.
The Commissioner pointed out that The Technical University, Ibadan (TechU) will be self-financing, saying that the government is just midwifing the university that will develop the vocational skills of its students and promote technical education.