STAKEHOLDERS in Ijesaland have appealed to Governor Ademola Adeleke’s administration to expedite action on the review of the processes leading to the establishment of the University of Ilesa, and ensure its full take-off in the next two weeks.
They noted that the tripartite issues of the committee have long been resolved by the implementation panel setup by former governor Adegboyega Oyetola which presented its report on November 21, 2022.
Leading the stakeholders in an open letter to Adeleke, the Asiwaju of Ijesaland, Yinka Fasuyi, noted that in line with the report of the initial panel, the people of Ijesaland had agreed to jointly take up the financial burden of running the ivory tower as well as other posers raised by the incumbent administration.
The Governor had on Tuesday inaugurated an 11-man ad-hoc review committee chaired by Professor Taiwo Ashaolu of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.
Other members of the committee are Prof. Oyesoji Aremu, Prof. Lukman Jumoda, Prof. David Oladeji, Prof. Dayo Akintayo, Prof. (Mrs) Adefunke, Dr. Mutalib Akanmu and Hon Bamidele Salam.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education as well as the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice are also members of the review committee, which has a six weeks mandate.
Inaugurating the committee, Adeleke said: “The last administration avoided due diligence and comprehensive project report. Instead, it opted for political action on a subject that demands thorough planning, covering financial and academic forecast and provision.”
The governor mandated the ad-hoc panel to: “review and assess funding requirements for both capital and recurrent expenditures for the eventual take off of the university, review and assess the sources of funds for both capital and recurrent expenditure for the eventual take off of the University, generally review the implementation guidelines proposed by the Implementation Committee; engage all relevant stakeholders including the host community, trade Unions, Alumni association of the College, the student body, etc. with a view to harmonize the position for the way forward.”
The team is also to “identify the gaps within the UNILESA Establishment Law and make appropriate recommendations towards its amendment to ensure adequate coverage of relevant interests for the eventual takeoff of the University, propose modalities for phased implementation of the University such that faculties and courses of study are matched with funding requirement of each phase of the implementation and evaluate and draw appropriate policy recommendations towards the execution of the existing obligations, assets and liabilities of the College of Education, Ilesa with a view to removing all impediments for the eventual take off of the University.”
But in an open letter on Tuesday in response to the government’s action, Fasuyi stressed that the creation of the varsity after a over 40-year wait is in line with due processes, calling on the present administration to be apolitical in its actions on the institution.
The Asiwaju of Ijesaland said his people are worried about the development, as it may not enable the University be eligible to take candidates for the 2023/2024 academic session, if issues related to its operation and takeoff are not resolved.
He urged Adeleke to reduce the time frame for the review committee’s assignment to two weeks from six weeks, saying that most of the issues in its term of reference have been resolved.
He stated that: “One, the summarised Term of Reference number one in respect of identifying financial needs of the University and how to source for same has been painstakingly worked upon by the University Project Consultative Committee (UPCC). The details of this is contained in the University Sustainability Plan which we produced and gave to the administration of Alhaji Adegboyega Oyetola on Friday, 6th August 2021.
“A major highlight in the University Sustainability Plan is the emphatic statement that Osun State Government shall not need to add any extra kobo to what it currently appropriates to the erstwhile College of Education to what it will providing to the new University as alternative sources of funding have been carefully strategised upon to take care of all other extra financial needs.
“The combination of the anticipated support from the Osun State House of Assembly and the love and affection the Governor, His Excellency Ademola Adeleke has for the people of Ijesaland could yield the result of producing a fully amended University Establishment Law (Amended) within one week and thereby make justification for reducing the time frame given to the university review committee from six weeks to two weeks.
“In similar vein, the strategy for the phasing of Faculties and Courses are all already professionally done and submitted to the previous administration and representatives of the incumbent ruling party in the State. The phasing of Faculties and Courses have been painstakingly worked out in accordance with the University Financial Sustainability Plan submitted to the State Government.
“The leadership of the various Academic, Non-Academic, and Others can be fully invited and engaged by the State Government and resolve all pending matters within a maximum of two to three intensive days and get a clear and sustainable result. After all, it is the same Osun State Government that owns both erstwhile College of Education and the new University.
“The erstwhile College of Education, Ilesa was covered in this State-wide exercise hence, there will not be a need to start another fresh review again. We are also aware that the State Committee on Assets and Liabilities has completed its assignment and we therefore plead with the State Government to make use of the outputs of this committee as it relates to the former College of Education for the new University of Ilesa, since nothing would have changed in the status between when the Committee completes its work and now and therefore substantially reduce the workload of the University of Ilesa review committee and therefore justify the reduction of the time frame given to the university of Ilesa review committee from six weeks to two weeks.”