Ladoke Akintola University of Technology is situated in Ogbomoso, an ancient town in Oyo State, in the South West region of Nigeria. The University founded in 1991 is the first state University of technology in the South West, and is jointly funded by Oyo and Osun States.
In its early days, LAUTECH grew fast from potentials to possibilities barely after a decade of its founding. The school was adjudged the Best State University in Nigeria and this was for 3 consecutive academic sessions, 2003, 2004, 2005. LAUTECH graduates in times past have shown brilliance, versatility and have been known for innovative projects and businesses. The Nigerian tech communities are well populated with LAUTECH graduates, as 4 out of 10 tech entrepreneurs from public universities have been found to be LAUTECH graduates according to research.
However, the School is in a comatose state from series of strike actions that have kept it closed and her students stuck on same level since 2015. A fresher in LAUTECH in 2015 has not completed first semester even till now, 2 years after. While the visitors of the university, Gov Isiaka Ajumobi of Oyo state and Gov Rauf Aregbesola of Osun state have injected some funds to salvage the school, it is apparent this hasn’t saved the University gates from being shut and the visitors insist the states are short of funds to run the school.
LAUTECH Alumni Steps In
Eight months gone into another strike action, it seems the students will be left to their fate and the workers unpaid still. But the Alumni have refused to fold their hands. While the organized body of Alumni has taken to political lobby and negotiations with the funding governments, a group of 5 Alumni unveiled a crowd funding initiative to solve the immediate need of the school.
Led by Mr Bayo Adeyinka, a former Student Union Government President of the University (1998) , the group of 5 resulted to campaign for crowd funding with the #FundLAUTECH campaign as they are tired of being armchair critics.
The #FUNDLAUTECH campaign may not be the end or the saviour in the LAUTECH saga, but it can be a means to an end as the school needs long term strategies to combat its reoccurring funding challenges. If one of the aims of the #FUNDLAUTECH group is to raise the dust about the University, then it has succeeded. LAUTECH has been in the news since the campaign was launched on the 12th of June.The state governments are also proposing an audit of the management accounts, other alumni are coming up with strategies and reforms that may eventually put LAUTECH on self sustenance.
If the aim is to raise a total of one billion Naira as stated in its press release, then the journey hasn’t started. According to the www.fundlautech.com website where daily accruement of donation is displayed. The initiative is yet to reach 1% of its One billion Naira target. Though a seemingly white elephant project, these men are unabated in their campaign to get the school opened. To the #FundLAUTECH group, it is a mission that must be embarked on. The Initiators and its growing group of supporters have been knocking on doors of notable Nigerians, Corporate organizations, parents and friends to give in keeping the hopes of over 28,000 undergraduate and 4,161 post graduate students alive.
According to Mr Bayo Adeyinka, himself and other co-initiators are doing this not because it is fail-proof but because they will rather try and fail than do nothing and succeed. The team is hopeful of an audience with the governors of the funding states and the Chancellor of the University who is also the political leader of the ruling party of the nation. Co-initiators include Ropo Egbeleke, Sola Kolawole, Adetunbi Saheed and Tunde Ajayi-Ope.