By Udora Orizu
Some of the Vice Chancellors of the nation’s federal universities who appeared before the House of Representatives on Public Accounts Committee, (PAC) have blamed their inability to render their 2018-2019 financial audited accounts to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation on the outbreak of the dreaded Corona virus pandemic in the country.
The universities which appeared before the Hon. Oluwole Oke-led panel include the Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurrun Delta State and Modibbo Adamu University of Technology Yola, Adamawa State respectively.
The committee currently conducting administrative Investigations on the audit queries raised against Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government had requested the Institutions to submit the following information/documents for examinations.
However, during the appearances of the Heads of the institutions, they blamed the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country which delayed the processes and in some cases the inability of their Governing Councils to meet and approved the available reports.
They begged for more time to tidy up their records with their External Auditors for the rendition.
In his ruling, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Oke while accepting their pleas, summoned the External Auditor of the Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State over some infractions noticed in the 2018 Audited Account of the Institution.
He also directed that a sub-committee should visit the Institution for on-the-spot assessment of most of the projects claimed to have been executed.
The lawmakers also frowned at the utilization of the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) of some of the Institutions saying that it violated financial regulations Government, as alluded to by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
Oke counselled the VCs on the need to follow the provisions establishing the universities to guide against running foul of the law as ignorance would not be accepted as an excuse.