By Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
Struggling to get to the root cause of the financial crisis bedevilling the smooth running of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, the owner states of Oyo and Osun yesterday revealed how 97 different bank accounts being operated by the management of the institution were discovered against the earlier directive of Single Treasury Account (TSA) policy specifically put in place to promote transparency.
The discovery, the owner-state governments said was based on the visitation panel report which submitted its report recently and insisted on forensic audit of the account of the institution.
The report also revealed that a majority of the banks have closed shopÂ 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 States between 2011-2016.
The Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, while receiving the state executive of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), made the position of the owner-states known to the public.
He noted that part of the recommendations of the visitation panel led by a legal luminary, Chief Wole Olanipekun, was that the accounts of the school and its workforce must be audited.
According to him, â€œWe are not too comfortable with the accounting process or procedure of the institution, that is the least we can say now.
â€œPart 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.â€
The bursary departments still rely on analogue mode of operation, with its attendant challenges and risks.â€
The commissioner continued: â€œWhen 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.
â€œThe visitation panel observed that the university opened 97 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 CBN.
In a likewise manner, Olowofela summarily analysed as follows: â€œThe subventions released to LAUTECH between 2011-2016 goes thus; Oyo state released 8,473,361,702.25, and Osun State contributedÂ 5,153,047,345.74, totaling N13.626 Billion.
â€œAlso, the students population is as follows: Undergraduate (Regular) – 27,457.Â Undergraduate (Part time) -1,514.Â Postgraduate (Regular) -2,857. Postgraduate (Part-Time) 3,054 . Open Distance Learning (ODL) 655.Â Total- 35,507 students. Why is it difficult for LAUTECH to survive, since institutions with less studentsâ€™ population are surviving?
â€œWe 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,â€ Olowofela added.
Appealing to the labour unions of the institution to give peace a chance, he, however promised: â€œWe are getting closer to the solution than to the problem. If we have an enabling atmosphere such that the audit firm is ableÂ 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,â€ the commissioner urged.