THE owner state governments of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso have said that their earlier position, demanding an external forensic audit of the institution, so as to defuse and proffer lasting solution to the incessant crisis that had been affecting the institution, has been justified based on the visitation panel’s report, detecting 97 different bank accounts in almost all the commercial banks in the country being operated as against the directive of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy specifically put in place to promote transparency.
The report also revealed that majority of the banks have closed shop due to either restructuring, merger or outright de-listment by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and a total sum of N13.626 Billion subventions, excluding Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) was released to the institution by Oyo and Osun state governments between 2011-2016.
Revealing this yesterday, in Ibadan, the Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, while receiving the state executives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) noted that part of the recommendations of the visitation panel led by a far famed legal luminary, Chief Wole Olanipekun, was that the accounts of the school and its workforce must be audited.
According to him, “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.”
The Commissioner continued: “When the government said you must have a 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.”
In a like manner, Olowofela 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,” Olowofela added.
Appealing to the labour unions of the institution to give peace a chance, he, however assured, “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 three weeks. But it appears as if some people want to truncate the exercise. I am appealing to the workers to give peace a chance,” the Commissioner urged.