The Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof Adeniyi Olowofela, on Monday said the state government would soon put an end to the financial challenges facing tertiary institutions in the state, with the establishment of a N50bn Education Trust Fund.
The state co-owns the troubled Ladoke Akintola University of Technology and six other tertiary institutions that are also battling financial problems at present.
The workers in the six institutions recently declared total strike, while doctors at the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital have refused to resume work.
Olowofela said this while delivering a keynote lecture at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan. The event was organised by the students association of the institute as part of their 2017 lecture themed, ‘Africa yesterday, today and tomorrow: Lessons learned, challenges and opportunities’.
The commissioner, who was also conferred with an award for his contributions to education in the state, added that the N50bn ETF project was initiated to cater for the needs of all schools in the state.
He said, “Our tertiary education in Oyo State is going through a phase and the phase is what we call a re-engineering phase. After that re-engineering, our tertiary institutions will come out better and stronger and there will not be any trouble for our tertiary institutions again.
“We are combining two issues in the re-engineering process. We are looking at the economic viability of development vis-a-vis the intellectual ability of the system coupled with standard practice.
“And don’t forget that the Oyo State Government is still raising funds through the ETF, the fund in that pool will be available for education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Be it development, salaries, infrastructure, physical structures and every other thing, the fund will address all the issues.”
President of the association, Mr Sam Adegbola, said that the excellence award for the commissioner was in recognition of his ministry and government’s efforts to solve the problems of the tertiary institutions.
He said, “As students, we appreciate the effort of the state government and the commissioner to provide solutions to the problems confronting tertiary schools and other institutions in the state.”