Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola has opened up on the face-off between his government and students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).
Newsmen reports that the institution has been shut down for months now due to the government’s inability to release funds.
On Thursday, students of LAUTECH blocked the entrance of the Osun State Government House, Osogbo, displaying placards and condemning the government’s attitude towards the problem.
The protest totally shut down activities in the state capital as vehicular movements were halted for over eight hours.
Reacting, however, Aregbesola denied the claims in some quarters that his government was not concerned with the issue, adding that the problem could not be tackled due to poor finances.
He told journalists during a media night out in the Government House, which was part of activities to commemorate his 60th birthday, that “this is not a matter of not having interest in LAUTECH. With the economic realities on ground, I cannot continue with the pattern of funding the school because we are financially incapacitated”.
He further stated, “I am incapable. The funds are not just there. Though I still make contributions and my deputy governor is here to testify that I still sign cheques to make payment every month to LAUTECH. It is small. It is not a matter of interest, but incapacity. The failure of the management to live within its means is another issue.
“We stopped giving financial support to Osun State University (UNIOSUN), an institution with about 12,000 student population about three years ago and the university is still running on its own till today. The population of LAUTECH is about 33,000 and the difference between the tuition fees being paid by LAUTECH and UNIOSUN is not much.”
However, he disclosed that a private audit firm had been commissioned by both Oyo and Osun, co-owners of the University, to carry out a total audit of the institution’s management and finances.