Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, spoken on the way forward for Oyo state-owned tertiary institutions after it was annoinced last week that the government would no longer fund the schools.
The governor who spoke at the dedication of a multi-million Naira Vice Chancellor’s Lodge donated to the Ajayi Crowder University (ACU), Oyo by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), attributed the decision to dwindling resources and the need for their managers to be creative.
According to Ajimobi, that the way to go for better funding and management of education is participation of all stakeholders including parents, philanthropists and the private sector.
His words: ” Looking at the economic situation of the country and in the whole world, we have dwindling oil revenue. It has affected virtually all aspects of our socio-economic life and we are unable to really cope. Therefore, we believe that apart from the dwindling resources, all Nigerians must participate in education. Education is participatory. It is not for the government alone or for the government alone to pay for education. We believe that parents, teachers, everybody must participate. What we are witnessing here today for me, exemplifies our belief in participatory education. Here is an individual, a great Nigerian, an accomplished legal luminary who on his own has built several institutions. In the University of Ibadan, he built the Law Library. He is replicating something similar at Ajayi Crowder University where he has donated the VC Lodge. Nigerians must copy this man. Nigerians must contribute to education and the development of our children.”
He also pointed out that managers of the institutions need to work hard to plug leakages and be creative in serving their communities.
“We are still supporting the tertiary institutions. We have not cancelled subventions completely. We have reduced it from 100 per cent to 25 per cent. And we see many loopholes, leakages. They should go and plug them. We believe that they can raise Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) through efficient management of their resources, through plugging of leakages and through offering various services to the community. They agreed. You can see that private institutions are not taking subventions from anybody. Education is not absolutely free. Nothing is absolutely free.”
On the crisis rocking the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, Ajimobi said that the two owner states, Osun and Oyo, would have to sit down and resolve the long standing conflict of interests.
He said: “Before we came in 2010, the former governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala and his Osun State counterpart then, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, had an agreement to transfer LAUTECH to Oyo State. But Governor Rauf Aregbesola went to court, and the case got to the Supreme Court. In 2012, the court gave a judgment that co-ownership of LAUTECH by both states remained unbroken. The judgment held that unless both owners sit down and agree, no party can singlehandedly decide to severe the relationship.
“Agreed that Osun State is not paying as it should be paying, Oyo State has paid substantially more than Osun has paid. What we are saying now is for us to sit down and see the need for co-owners to fulfill our obligations.”