LAUTECH, which was formerly owned by Oyo and Osun states has had its fair share of industrial actions to last a lifetime. These incessant strikes have always been due to the non-payment of salaries and nonpayment of adequate subventions for the smooth running of the institution by the then owner states. Eventually, tuition fees was hiked to alleviate some of the monetary issues.
Students would have accepted their fate and continued to make the payment, but for the promise of the Oyo State Government which raised their hope.
During the 2019 election campaign, the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde made a visit to the institution where he announced that he would reduce the institution’s tuition fee. This he also mentioned at a live interview programme on Lagelu 96.7 FM. There, he “promised to review downward the tuition fees paid by students of the institution”.
A day by day count would reveal that the governor’s appointment is over 2 years now, but LAUTECH’s tuition fee still remains the same. This makes one wonder if the promise of a downward review was an empty one.
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology tuition fee was hiked in 2017 for fresh students after the warning strike turned into indefinite industrial action which lasted for 9 months from June-February got suspended. This was a resolution proposed by the university’s governing council to generate funds for the school operations and bring an end to the incessant strikes. The tuition fee got hiked again in 2018 and this affected the staylites and the newly admitted students for the 2018/2019 session. The governor at the time, Late Gov. Ajimobi stated then that this was due to decline in revenue received from the federal government.
Parents were not cool with this decision and made their grievances known because the hike came at a time when the nation’s economic situation was bad. parents who were also lecturers of the institution also made it known that they were owed months of unpaid salaries.
Students also took to the streets to protest against the anti-poor policy but it all fell on deaf ears as the tuition fee was just slightly reduced from the initial #200,000 and #250,000 for indigenes and non-indigenes respectively as earlier proposed. Despite this, it didn’t take long for the workers to embark on another strike a few months later over their 8 months unpaid outstanding salaries.
Finally, the tuition fee was increased from #65,000 and #72,500 to #120,000 and #150,000 for indigenes and non-indigenes respectively for the students who were offered in 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. Then, staylites’s tuition fee was eventually increased to #90,000 and #100,000 for indigenes and non-indigenes respectively.
Students offered admission for the 2018/2019 session also met with the same fate as their tuition fee was stated to be #150,000 and #170,000 for indigenes and non-indigenes respectively, and that is the amount being paid till today.
What does the future hold?
To ascertain the government’s plan on the promise of tuition fee reduction, The Oyo State Government was reached out to through the Oyo State Government Feedback Team. In reply to a question concerning the topic at hand, the team said, “the issue has been brought to our attention and we have escalated to the appropriate authorities. The feedback we got is that it is being looked into”.