By Adesina Wahab
The National Universities Commission, NUC, has stepped into the lingering face-off between Oyo and Osun states over the funding and control of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, jointly owned by the two states.
The disagreement between the two states often leads to a situation whereby a state would release its subvention to the university, while the other would hold back, a development that affects its operations.
The states also often disagree on the appointment of principal officers of the institution and the recruitment of staff.
Checks by Vanguard showed that the coming of the NUC into the matter arose because while Oyo State is ready to completely take over the university, Osun seems not disposed to that and the two states are not in favour of the Federal Government taking over the ownership of the school as being suggested in some quarters.
The Executive Secretary of the NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, was called into the matter and the NUC team has been meeting representatives of the two states.
The NUC team met the two sides in Lagos on Monday and further deliberations are still going to hold.
An official of the university, who spoke to Vanguard in confidence, said the NUC team had earlier met with Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) before the NUC continued meeting with the teams set up by the governors.
Late last year, Governor Makinde set up a team headed by Prof. Ayodeji Omole, to look into how best to handle the ownership crisis rocking the university.
The governor even gave the hint that Oyo State would not mind becoming the sole owner of the university, as according to him, sole ownership could be the ultimate solution to the problem.
On his part, Governor Oyetola also set up a committee headed by Prof. Olu Aina to look into the same issue, however, he did not give any inkling that Osun would want to sell its stake in the university.
His concern was how each side would meet its obligations to the university.
The main campus of the university is in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, while the Teaching Hospital is in Osogbo, Osun State.
When Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala was the Oyo State governor, he built another teaching hospital in Ogbomoso, his hometown, but that is no longer functioning.
The university was set up during the military era before Osun was carved out of old Oyo State.
While LAUTECH has become a sort of orphan despite having two parents, both states have gone ahead to set up their own universities.
Oyo has the Technical University in Ibadan, while Osun has the Osun State University.