Condemnations have continued to trail the refusal of the management and labour unions of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho to allow the forensic auditing of the university’s account, as some stakeholders have attributed the main reason behind the continuous strike in the university to the failure to allow proper auditing.
The auditing has been identified as the lasting solution that can be administered to the incessant and the current seeming-not-to-end industrial action by the workers of the institution.
The labour unions of the institution were reported to have frustrated the Accounting Firm, KPMG which was engaged by the two owner states, Osun and Oyo to audit the finances of the university, as part of the recommendations by the Chief Wole Olanipekun visitation panel. Series of drama and threat have thereafter trailed and frustrated this effort to get the institution back on its feet.
The Olanipekun-led panel had found out that the LAUTECH accounts were audited last in 2012, and a sum of N400 million was in question then, just as it revealed that the university runs 97 different accounts, in spite of the Treasury Single Account policy that has since been in vogue as recommended and adopted by the Federal government since 2015.
It was also revealed that the TETFUND and Needs Assessment Funds running into billions of naira have been given to LAUTECH without commensurate research output to show for it.
Besides the alleged prevention of the auditing firm to carry out the audit, the joint labour unions of the institution had filed a suit before an Oyo State High Court to stop the exercise, a situation that had continued to raise suspicion that the management and the labour unions had skeleton in their cupboard and they have ignored the lives of students.
It has been in contention that the university should be able to finance itself without subventions from the owner states, considering the number of students and the fees being charged. Comparisons have been made with UNIOSUN, another state University completely independent of the State of Osun’s control.
Some of the students and staffers of the institution, who spoke with this medium under the condition of anonymity wondered why such exercise would be frustrated by the labour unions.
A lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology wondered why the management and the unions would be preventing the audit of the university’s account, saying that the action was suspicious.
“It is now clear that the management and we the staff members, particularly the union leaders are the ones preventing the end to the prolonged strike in LAUTECH. Why are we then blaming the government for what we are guilty of?
“The issue of the nationwide strike by ASUU is another discussion, but as for the LAUTECH, if indeed we are sincere about what we are saying, why are we preventing what the government is claiming will bring an end to the prolong strike?
Also, a student in the department of Architecture, who also spoke anonymously, appealed to the labour unions and management of the institution to take the interest of the student as a priority.
“We can blame the government, fine, but the blame now is of the unions and the management who have been resisting the audit of the account. What are they hiding? “The governments of the two states have proffered solution to this crisis. Let us give them that opportunity. It is after they have carried out the audit and nothing is forthcoming that we can be blaming the government’, he stressed.
However, the governments of the two states have continuously called on parents, students and other stakeholders to prevail and plead with the unions to stop frustrating sincere steps of owner governments to get LAUTECH back on track, saying they are not happy and comfortable with the prolonged strike that has kept the Nigeria’s future leaders at home.