Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan
Former governor of Oyo State and gubernatorial candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Mr. Adebayo Alao-Akala, Wednesday assured people of the state of full ownership of troubled Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso within the first 100 days of his administration.
He gave the assurance Wednesday while speaking with journalists at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, before departing for Ibadan.
The former Governor who was in Abuja to finalise documentation of his candidature of ADP as its flagbearer for next year's general elections, said he had the solution to the problems bedevilling the institution which has been crisis ridden for years.
According to him, LAUTECH is part of the agenda of his administration on education once he assumes office as governor of the state in 2019.
He maintained that his policy on education will put an end to the current rip-off people of the state are currently passing through in the name of all sorts of fees parents are made to part with despite claims of free education policy of the present state government.
He said, "If you check our first four years, that is between 2007-2011, education was free from primary to secondary schools and when I say free, it was totally free. We made sure bursary and scholarship board was fully functional and effective to cater for the needs of students across the state.
"Our Polytechnic was well funded and same thing for the College of Agriculture in Igboora. The Colleges of Education were at their best and we did not starve them of funds. Don't forget that I'm talking about seven years ago when the allocation we got then was a far cry from what they are getting now.
"I can assure you that the documents for the take over of LAUTECH is ready and within the first three months everything will be sorted out. LAUTECH will be fully owned by Oyo State and I challenge you to take me up on this when the time comes."
On funding the institution upon assuming full ownwership, Akala said the IGR currently being generated by the state is enough to fund the education sector, declaring that there is a particular fund coming soon to the state that will cater for that.
"I want to categorically tell you that funding LAUTECH is not going to be a big deal as I am not a new comer in matters affecting Oyo State. I was governor of Oyo State for four years and I know what comes to Oyo state and how it is being spent to the minutest details till date.
"There is a particular fund coming to Oyo State by June next year to the tune of N200b.This fund will be used to revive the education sector of Oyo State right from the primary to tertiary levels.
"Backlog of salaries to the tune of 19 months being owed lecturers of all our higher Institutions will be cleared at once, decayed Infrastructure will be taken care of and the Oyo State Education Trust fund we had then will be revived just like the Federal Government has its own TETFUND.
"The bulk of this N200b I'm talking about will be in this trust fund while a particular percentage of our IGR, Federal, state and local government allocations will also be kept in the trust fund to cater for our education sector in the four years I'm going to be governor of Oyo State God willing", he said.