Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Following the failure of the management of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) in Lagos to submit its audited reports to the Auditor General of the Federation since 2014 till date as required by law, the House of Representatives has issued a 30-day ultimatum to the institution within which to prepare its accounts and remit same.
The House equally directed the management of the institution to lay before the committee proof of full compliance when next it appears before it.
The House Committee on Public Accounts took the decision at the weekend when the management of the Institution led by its Rector, Engr. Obafemi Omokungbe, appeared before it in Abuja at the resumed public hearing.
The rector had told the committee during the investigative hearing on the refusal of Non-Treasury Funded and Partially Funded Agencies to render their Audited Accounts covering the period 2014-2018 to the Auditor General of the Federation that he assumed office in 2018. He added that the accounts would be transmitted to the Auditor General of the Federation once the external auditor completes work on it.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Oluwole Oke, who described the claim by the rector unacceptable as it’s against financial regulations guiding civil service, directed that the the institution be placed on status enquiry for the period under review to probe into its financial records.
He warned that failure to comply with the directive, the National Assembly would have no option than to withhold the 2020 budgetary allocation to the institution to serve as a deterrent to other defaulting Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government.
Oke said: “YABATECH is the nation’s premier college of technology which supposed to be a shining example to others, but what did we have now? We are not impressed by the submissions of the rector and the bursar.
“How do you want the Auditor General of the Federation to balance the nation’s financial year record when you have backlogs of unaudited accounts or they will have to wait for you? Come to think of this, can you as an individual afford to leave the accounts of your private business outfit unaudited for years like we are witnessing in this case? There must be accountability. It is tax payers’ money. You must account for it, henceforth, it is not going to be business as usual.
“Let me sound a note of warning to those heads of MDAs, hiding under the pretext of being new in office or absence of governing boards to approve their audited accounts as cover ups for not remitting their audited accounts to the Auditor General of the Federation as at when due. We as a committee will fish out those involved and published their names and MDAs in the national dailies. We are compiling their names. There will be no hiding place for them. This is not a threat, we are going to carry it out to the letter.”