Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
Federal College of Education in Okene, Kogi State has called on the federal government to come to its aid over a backlog of N299,130,906.04 accrued from staff peculiar allowances and arrears, promotion arrears and the financial implication of the institution’s 2019 appropriation which was never captured.
Also, the college’s means of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) largely predicated on the population of students has dwindled as the students’ population in the school has been pegged at 3,651due to poor enrolment and inability to fill quota.
The Provost of the college, Dr. Umar Hassan, who disclosed this in Abuja, said even the commercial ventures established by the college to complement the IGR has been comatose due to several socio-economic factors which hindered their potentials in terms of profitability.
He said IGR for the first quarter of 2019 was barely up to N100,000 and of this amount a large chunk was held in trust for third parties such as NHIS, ICT, SIWES, and undergraduate collaboration contributions amongst others, in which the left over amount was barely enough to service such commitments as payments for out-sourced cleaning and security services, electricity bills, accreditation expenses, governing councils expenses and other sundry fixed costs which the college has to meet.
He added that for the number of staff being owed, a total of N9,500,000 would be required to offset their arrears.
He said: “The college is in default of the payment of peculiar allowances for a period running into 23 months, amounting to N148,203,748.58. For the year 2019, the college has submitted the financial implication amounting to N108,000,000 with the hope that it would be captured in the 2019 appropriation but regrettably, it was not.
“The college operates from rural setting which makes it very difficult to mobilise or attract assistance from the inhabitants. The college has had to stagger the payment of school fees by students as virtually all of them, being from poor and modest parental backgrounds, find it difficult to pay. So, virtually all the legitimate avenues of attracting additional income are drying up without respite.”
“Financial situation of the college is further compounded by irregular releases of overhead grants from the federal government which at least could have given us succour in the payment of staff claims and meeting our obligations to our creditors as well as servicing the fixed costs obligation. Even right now, there is festering tension in college over demands by staff for the settlement of promotion arrears for years 2015 and 2016 totalling N33,627,157.56.”