Sunday, June 25, 2017

On #ReOpenLAUTECH and Sustainable University Education in Nigeria

A more probable solution is for LAUTECH (and other Nigerian universities) to become self-sustaining.
The Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), co-owned by Oyo and Osun State, has struggled for months now as the states cannot provide funding. Both states cannot even pay employees on time, so LAUTECH is not a pressing concern. As a result, the lives of 26,000 students have been put on hold by incessant closures.

LAUTECH Alumni are doing what they can to facilitate the university’s reopening. Their current plan to crowd-fund N1 billion is ambitious, but it won’t change much. LAUTECH’s current wage bill is N350 million monthly. N1 billion nets out at less than 3 months, not enough to complete a semester. It is not enough, and fund-raising is not a sustainable way to fund a university.

The future looks bleak for LAUTECH. Except federal allocations to the states increase due to a miraculous rebound of the oil price, I don’t see how it will continue in its current form. Neither state makes enough to fund LAUTECH today, and no ‘actionable’ roadmaps exist to increase their revenues. Further complicating matters, Osun’s attention is divided as it also has the University of Osun.