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Mixed reaction has continued to trail on social media following the move by Oyo State Government to rename to LAUTECH to Ladoke Akintola University, LAU.
Recall that Oyo Government in its effort to change the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, from a technology university to a conventional university, on Tuesday approved a Bill titled 2022 LAUTECH Amendment Bill, to be forwarded to the Oyo State House of Assembly.
The Bill, which proposes to amend the objectives of the university to accommodate other fields of study and alter its present status as a strictly technology institution, as well as allow it to make provision for workers’ pension scheme, was approved at the Executive Council meeting.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, indicated that the state’s Attorney-General/Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo, stated these while briefing journalists shortly after the meeting.
According to the commissioner, the LAUTECH Amendment Bill, when passed into law, will enable the institution to offer courses in different fields of studies outside the field of technology, and also allow the establishment of more courses in Humanities, Law and other fields of studies.
He maintained that the amendment will also correct an omission by allowing the university to make provision for the establishment of a pension scheme for its staff, adding that the pension scheme is regulated now in line with state policy on pension.
He said: “We have a bill that has been proposed and approved by Exco, for onward transmission to the Oyo State House of Assembly, to amend the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso Law, to reflect the proposed change in the current status of the institution from a technical university to a conventional one.
“This is to enable the institution to offer courses in Humanities, Law and other fields for qualified candidates, as approved by National Universities Commission, NUC.
“So, the bill, in essence, seeks to amend the name of the university to Ladoke Akintola University (LAU) instead of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology.
“It is also to amend the objectives of the university to accommodate other fields of study and alter its present status as a strictly technical university to a regular university, which will translate to having more campuses in humanities to carry some courses like Social Sciences, Law, Management, Education and other fields of studies in art and humanities.
“The Bill is also to encourage and promote scholarship and conduct of research in all fields of learning and human endeavours and also to correct an omission by allowing the university to make provision for the establishment of pension scheme for its staff; as you are all aware that the pension is regulated now by law consistent with state policy on pension.
“The university will also establish a pension scheme which will be the contributory pension scheme, which will eventually be under the pension reform law.
“In essence, this is what has been done to the LAUTECH amendment law and, specifically, the university is to be addressed as Ladoke Akintola University, aka, LAU.
“The law will be Ladoke Akintola University Amendment Law 2022 and that is what has been approved by Exco to be communicated to the Oyo State House of Assembly for debate, processing and passing.”
Also, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun, maintained that Governor Seyi Makinde, upon deliberations in the Exco, came up with L.A.U. and that the university should be addressed as L.A.U once the bill is passed into law.
In another development, Olatubosun stated that the Exco has approved the sum of 1.7 Million US Dollars for the second phase of the Start Them Early Programme (STEP), an initiative to encourage and redirect the aspirations of young secondary school children in the state to Agribusiness.
The programme is a collaboration between the Oyo State Government and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
He maintained that the approval is to cover 6 additional secondary schools across 6 Federal Constituencies not captured in the first batch of the programme, in which 6 secondary schools benefited.
He said: “Sequel to the successful implementation of the Start Them Early Programme, Step, in Oyo State, it has been further extended to another six schools across the regions in the state.
The STEP programme is aimed at building the next generation in agribusiness by redirecting the aspirations of secondary school students towards career and business opportunities in modern agriculture, and changing the negative perception about agriculture being a cultural practice to a business venture, from which they can make a living.
The Oyo State Executive Council approved for the second phase of the STEP programme a sum of $1.7m, and it is to be paid to the IITA for the second phase of the STEP programme.
“The programme will kick off in another six schools from federal constituencies, which were not captured in the first phase of the programme.”
Olatubosun explained that the money will be paid in three tranches, saying: “$680,000 for the first tranche on 1st February, 2022; the second tranche will be paid on 1st July, 2022 and it will be a payment of $578,000 while the third tranche will be paid in November 2022, and it will be $442,000.
“The three tranches make a sum of $1.7m. We believe we should spread the programme across the 14 federal constituencies in the state.”
The state’s Commissioner for Lands, Mr. Abdulrahman Abdulraheem, was also in attendance.
Following the development, some students and alumni members on LAUTECH social media platforms have continued to speak out as most of them are against the change.
A social media commentator and alumni member of the school simply identified as Dr Samson on LAUTECH Eagle Said: “Take it or leave it, the standard of LAUTECH became threatened the day LAUTECH was splitted. Ordinarily such a split is a great achievement but the motives behind it, like other things in Nigeria, eventually became political.”
“The crisis was formerly Oyo-Osun, now the ethnicities that made Oyo State. What we have left are different patches of a one time golden pot. Nearly everyone is now a politician. Hardly can you divorce anything from politics in LAUTECH.”
“Saw a banner celebrating a year anniversary of split from Osun State, then I asked what? In LAUTECH? Should it be the business? Where schools of our category and private schools that were birthed after us are celebrating innovations. The school appears to be currently toprated because the effect of these decisions are gradual, accumulative and long term.”
“I hope those that are advising the governor, many of which are either in LAUTECH or connected to the school, will understand that Lautech is not just a name, it is a brand and a heritage that must be protected. Thank you.”
Another commentator on other platform said “the only side effect I foresee to the alteration could be a reduction in recognition as to the technology associated with the institution. Scientifically, a Tech institution is rated above a conventional one
This claim is subject to debate.”
Below are other comments from students and alumni members:
“Seriously, our Alumni should stand against it.. @Limo. Renaming school after years of producing numbered graduates isn’t always cool. It causes confusion.
Someone won’t even know if he’s an alumnus of Lautech or Lau Lau deh nee… All these things about LAUTECH the government is doing is totally unnecessary. From the external campus to the renaming, na nonsense to be sincere.”
“The name change It is a reflection of how we reason. There is no need to change the name to accommodate any course. We do mistake technology for engineering. Check out, global first class universities of technology offer all courses.”
“The proponents of the so called bill are right in thinking the institution needs to be further upgraded but I do not agree with the manner they’re going about it.”
“And if i may suggest i think they need to be properly educated on the said issue.”
“It’s not only not-well thought-out but totally unnecesary. Apart from the fact that The name LAUTECH is a well known brand, the costs involved in changing the name would run into Billions for a school that is struggling with payment of salaries I can’t begin to imagine that proponents of such a change have the best interests of the institution at large.”
– The focus should be on strengthening the quality of educational services being delivered in the institution.
– Equipping the institution with necessary amenities that would allow it cater for the new courses and give it a World-class posture.
– Improved research grants for researchers and also provision of research facilities.
– Engineering Platforms for value added services that can further increase the school IGR, upskill the institutions students, staffs and graduates.
It’s time to take LAUTECH to greater heights not play lousy politics with the history and future of the institution.”
“Ejoor let’s pull this off tomorrow morning make we call for almost all the top radio stations in Ibadan and express our displeasure on the Lau issue lets raise media campaign me I am not a Lau Lau student oo”