Oyo and Osun, owner states of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso are making moves to conduct external forensic audit of the institution’s finances, staff strength and student population.
A visitation panel set up by the states to look into the crisis rocking the institution had recommended a forensic audit after detecting 97 different bank accounts being run in almost all the commercial banks in the country.
The report of the Wole Olanipekun-led panel also revealed that majority of the banks have packed up due to restructuring, merger or outright de-listment by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Oyo state commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, revealed this on Saturday in Ibadan while receiving the state executives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN).
His words:”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.
According to Olowofela, the university, between 2011 and 2016, have gotten a total sum of N13.626 Billion as subventions from the two state governments, excluding Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He said that while Oyo released N8,473,361,702.25, Osun state contributed N5,153,047,345.74.
He continued: “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 jack 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 raising emotions all over the place.
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 3weeks. But it appears as if some people want to truncate the exercise. I am appealing to the workers to give peace a chance”.