The visitation panel set up to investigate the crisis rocking the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso has discovered no fewer than 97 different bank accounts in almost all the commercial banks in the country being operated by the institution.
This is against the directive of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy specifically put in place to promote transparency.
It revealed that majority of the banks have closed shop due to either restructuring, merger or outright de-listment by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology in Oyo State, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela while receiving the state executive members of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Ibadan at the weekend said that with these discoveries, “there is a need for an external forensic audit of the institution’s account in order to ensure financial prudence and accountability.”
Olowofela while speaking said that part of the recommendations of the visitation panel led by Chief Wole Olanipekun, set up to look at the remote and immediate causes of the perennial crisis rocking the institution and provide workable panacea was that, “the accounts of the institution and its workforce must be audited”.
Olowofela said that owner states, Oyo and Osun states released the total sum of thirteen billion, six-hundred and twenty-six million naira (N13.626 billion) as subvention for the institution between 2011 and 2016.
He noted that this is excluding additional Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by the institution through its various business ventures and activities running into millions of naira.
While reiterating the earlier position demanding an external forensic audit of the institution’s account in ensuring financial prudence and accountability, Olowofela said that the forensic audit of the institution’s purse was necessary so as to defuse and proffer lasting solution to the incessant crisis that had been affecting the institution.
He said, “We are not too comfortable with the accounting process or procedure of the institution, that is the least we can say now”
“Part of the recommendations of the visitation panel was that the accounts of the school must be audited, not only the accounts but the work force too must also be audited such that we look at the best practices on how to run this particular institution”
“The bursary departments still rely on analogue mode of operation, with its attendant challenges and risks”.
“When the government said you must have single account, in that visitation panel report, you have various accounts. If you have various accounts, you have not been accused of any financial difficulty, but we must know the truth so that at the end of the day, we will know whether something is wrong with the management, administration or the accounting process.
“The visitation panel observed that the university opened ninety-seven different bank accounts in almost all the commercial banks in the country. Some of the banks have closed shop, due to either restructuring, merger or outright de-listment by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Olowofela summarily analyzed as follows, “The subventions released to LAUTECH between 2011-2016 goes thus; Oyo state released 8,473,361,702.25, and Osun state contributed 5,153,047,345.74, totaling N13.626 Billion.
“Also, the students population is as follows : Undergraduate (Regular) – 27,457. Undergraduate (Part time ) – 1514. Postgraduate (Regular) – 2857. Postgraduate (Part-Time) 3054. Open Distance Learning (ODL) 655. Total- 35,507 Students.
“Why is it difficult for LAUTECH to survive, since institutions with less students’ population are surviving?”.
“We must ascertain whether the government needs to jerk up the subvention or whether government needs to remove the subvention completely. We must know so that we will be acting based on facts. But what are we observing now, people are moving from one quarter to the other raising emotions”.
While appealing to the labour unions of the institution to give peace a chance, Olowofela assured that, “We are getting closer to the solution than to the problem.
“If we have an enabling atmosphere such that the audit firm is able to do the job there, the two governments will comply with the recommendations.
“The audit firm must submit its report within the next 3 weeks. But it appears as if some people want to truncate the exercise. I am appealing to the workers to give peace a chance”.