I read with utmost amazement the biased, ill-informed and misleading assessment of the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde on LAUTECH by one Saheed Ladele and i cannot but educate the rubblerousing attention seekers on what he knowns not.
Governor Seyi Makinde’s affinity for LAUTECH dates back long before he was elected as the Governor of Oyo state. During the holocaust days of ownership tussle between Oyo and Osun state governments when the citadel of learning reached its all time lowest, some concerned Alumni of the institution who couldn’t fold their arms and witness their cherished institution go into extinction floated the #fundlautech Initiative to attract global attention to dwindling glory of LAUTECH and raise funds to arrest the fading glory of the institution that was once a pride of southwestern Nigeria.
It is on record that Engr. Seyi Makinde singlehandedly donated about half (50%) of total amount raised through the Initiative being the highest individual Donor and beyond the donation engaged in tedious brainstorming sessions with the #fundlautech team about charting a way towards returning the institution to its hay days. This culminated in him charging the #fundlautech team to come up with their ideas about finding lasting solutions to the lingering LAUTECH crisis.
Not pretending about his determination to solve the perennial problems confronting LAUTECH, barely 48hours after his election victory was officially announced, the then Governor-Elect Seyi Makinde on Wednesday 13th March, 2019 played host to the entire Management Team and Students’ Union Leaders of LAUTECH at his Ikolaba residence where he expressed his deep concerns over the deplorable condition of LAUTECH and promised to hit the ground running once his inauguration was effected.
It is noteworthy that the immediate Visitor to LAUTECH for eight years of his reign never stepped his feet on the premises of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital in Ogbomoso but Governor Seyi Makinde was on the premises of the same hospital to commission a state of the earth medically equipped Infectious Diseases Management Building within the premises of the LAUTECH Teaching hospital being the second Governor of Oyo state to visit the hospital complex after it was commissioned by Governor Akala on the 27th May, 2011.
As at inception of Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration on May 29th 2019, LAUTECH workforce like other Oyo state owned tertiary institutions were owed salary arrears ranging from 9 to 14 months but within the first 8months of his administration, all the salary backlogs were cleared without failing his 25th of every month pay-day pact with LAUTECH workers. In fact, there was a particular instance where three salaries were paid within a space of ten working days, such is the magnanimity of GSM towards the LAUTECH workforce.
In one of his visits to LAUTECH campus in September 2020, Governor Makinde trekked the 3.5 kilometer stretch alternative access route to LAUTECH campus popularly called UnderG Road and not comfortable with the deplorable situation of the road, he set machineries in motion for reconstruction of the road with accompanying street lights the project which he returned to commission ahead of record time for the benefits of students and Ogbomoso community. He also made provisions for strategic location of Amotekun patrol vans to provide air-tight security around the student densely populated areas.
Records have evidently proven that between 2019 till date, LAUTECH staff and students have won more laurels nationally and internationally than they have won in the previous decade in the history of institution. Since Governor Seyi Makinde came on board as the Visitor to LAUTECH, the institution never failed any accreditation exercise but rather expanded with creation of four more faculties increasing the programmes offered by the institution from 38 to 52 with addition of Arts and Social Sciences programmes giving the institution a conventional status and unprecedented development taking place at the annex campus in Iseyin with the construction of administrative building, lecture theatres and staff offices along with 56km Ogbomoso-Fapote-Iseyin Road to facilitate a seamless trip between the two campuses.
Few weeks ago during the accreditation exercise by the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Governor Makinde personally requested an audience with the accreditation team to ascertain what’s required to increase LAUTECH quota for medical students, an effort which yielded positive result with the approval of the Council to jerk up LAUTECH enrollment of medical students from the previous 75 intake over the years to 120 as announced few days back by the Council.
Worried by the anticipated accommodation challenges that students may face sequel to expansion of programmes offered, a proactive Governor Seyi Makinde leverage on his goodwill and contacts with Tetfund to secure a N4billion worth Sepcial Intervention from Tetfund for tastefully finished and well equipped 4000 beded capacity students’ hostel which is 90% completed and may be ready for use by the next academic session.
During the economic crisis resulting from the covid19 pandemic when the economy of majority of parents who are mostly low income earners deprived students timely payment of tuition, Governor Makinde in his magnanimous nature ordered reduction of tuition fee by 25% across board as a gesture to relief parents of hardship and avert students truncating their academic pursuit the gesture that makes LAUTECH tuition fees the lowest among other state owned institutions around making the institution the most sought after according to UTME enrolment rising geometrical from a paltry 5000 in 2017/2018 to the neighbourhood on 16,000 in the current admission exercise.
Sequel to unstable academic calendar owing to poor financing of the university by the previous administration, LAUTECH had about five set of graduands that were yet to be convocated at the time Governor Makinde assumed office and the Governor made sure that a combined convocation ceremony was conducted for the six pending sets with him in attendance being the first time the Visitor to the university will grace convocation ceremony after almost a decade.
On infrastructure, within the last one year, there has been a tremendous infrastructural development within LAUTECH with commissing of the massive newly built Faculty of Engineering Building, Faculty of Management Science Building, Faculty of Environmental Sciences Building, face-lift of the Senate building, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences Laboratory Complex, Faculty of Food Science and Consumer Behaviour, The BOVAS Building Complex donated by the BOVAS Group and the Innovation and Technology Hub recently commissioned by the Governor.
Recall that the last time LAUTECH secured a commendable webometric rating was during the Vice-chancellorship of late Prof M.A Salau around 2003-2005 academic session. However, with Governor Seyi Makinde’s magic wand, LAUTECH has maintained its position uninterruptedly for three years as the best state owned university in Nigeria and number seven among 43 Federal Universities, 48 state owned and 79 private making 170 universities nationwide.
In term of physical presence on campus, Governor Makinde with the last three years have visited LAUTECH campus more than all other Visitors to the university put together since the creation of the institution each time bringing glad tidings to staff, students and the host community.
There’s always more to do but in all Governor Makinde’s visitorship to LAUTECH has been of tremendous blessings to the university