The National Universities Commission (NUC) has announced the dissolution of the joint ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho and the College of Health Sciences, Osogbo.
The Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, made the announcement in Abuja on Friday, at a news conference on the resolution of the lingering ownership crisis over the institutions between Oyo and Osun states.
Over the years, the joint ownership arrangement of LAUTECH and the College of Health Sciences has been characterised by governance challenges.
These challenges have somewhat affected the appointment of the vice-chancellor and other principal officers as well as irregular payment of staff salaries.
Rasheed said that in response to calls by stakeholders for NUC’s intervention in the crisis, the commission constituted a tripartite committee, comprising representatives of the two states, to liaise with stakeholders and find a lasting solution to the crisis.
He said that the committee, which commenced its work, reached an agreement with the states on the sharing of the assets and liabilities of LAUTECH by Oyo and Osun states.
“It is gratifying to note that after extensive deliberations, negotiations and consultations, carried out on the owner states’ mutually agreed terms, the joint ownership of LAUTECH was formally dissolved.
“The mutually agreed dissolution was formalised through the signing of a memorandum of agreement by the Executive 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 Oyo State and the College of Health Sciences to Osun state.
“The NUC wishes to commend and express its profound gratitude to the governors of both states for their exemplary statesmanship, leadership and tremendous sacrifice by putting the interest of LAUTECH and its over 30,000 students above political and other considerations,” he said.
Rasheed said that the governor of Oyo state was working towards the upgrade of the state hospital to a teaching hospital to accommodate the medical students of LAUTECH.
He added that in a similar manner, the College of Health Sciences, Osogbo, would benefit the medical students of Osun State University.
The executive secretary, however, urged both states to bear full costs and responsibilities of the university to boost and expand its capacity.
He, therefore, pledged that the commission would work with stakeholders to ensure the full and faithful implementation of the terms of the agreement in all its ramifications.
He also said that NUC would ensure the repositioning of LAUTECH to discharge of its three-fold mandate of teaching, research and community service.
It would be recalled that LAUTECH, Ogbomosho was established in 1990 by the old Oyo State Government, with the main campus located in Ogbomosho.
The teaching hospital was subsequently established and located in Osogbo.
However, when Osun was excised from the old Oyo state in 1991, both states became the joint owners of the institution.