THE owner states of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Oyo and Osun have insisted that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the institution was preventing the forensic audit of the university.
The leadership of the Union on several fora, repeatedly claimed is not opposed to the exercise as being peddled in some quarters.
ASUU statement reads : “While our union is not opposed to the exercise, it should not be used as an excuse to justify holding on to salaries of our members for eight months. Let the government fulfill its obligation as even recommended by its own visitation panel, then whatever auditing exercise they want to carry out can continue.
“Our union is a law-abiding one, and will not stand on the way of accountability and transparency but will not allow our members to be subjected to humiliation of economic deprivation and starvation for an “offence” they never committed. To us, the ploy by government to paint ASUU as standing in the way of auditing exercise is a cheap blackmail which cannot stand in the face of the logic of the present realities”.
However, in a sharp contrast, the Oyo state government corroborating its Osun state counterpart through the state commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela has disclosed that the auditing firm, KPMG have been prevented from doing the job by the union.
Speaking on a television programme, on Monday, in Lagos, while quoting the letter sent to the visitors by the auditing firm, expressing difficulties encountered, Olowofela said: “However, on the 30th May, 2017, in the process of compiling the information requirements submitted by KPMG, the bursar of the University informed the KPMG team that members of the Union came into the offices and forcefully ejected the bursary staff providing support for the data gathering and collation”.
” What should be the concern of the Union is what can hasten the opportunity for welfare of the staff and government said this one will hasten the opportunity, let us complete in time.
“As I am talking to you, despite the nebulous accounting procedure that is in the institution, Oyo state government has also given the institution more than N140m in the last two weeks in support”, the commissioner continued.
Olowofela, who is also an ASUU member stressed that the governments of Oyo and Osun have contributed the sum of N13.6b via subvention into LAUTECH between 2011 and 2016, but the impression being created to the members of the public is that government is not doing anything.
He, also hinted that the institution’s account was last audited in 2012, warning ASUU against blackmailing the state government for its decision to audit the institution’s account.
“Government has begun a process to solve the problem once and for all. KPMG has been given three weeks’ mandate to complete its assignment but members of the union are preventing the audit firm from carrying out the assignment.
“It is correct that it is the governing council that should be facing this problem, but government has taken the bull by the horn and that is why we are doing what we need to do to solve the problem. The blackmail will not work.
“The process of solving LAUTECH problem permanently has commenced. The Chief Wole Olanipekun report directed the owner state governments to carry out a forensic audit of the institution because the accounting system is nebulous and porous. The truth is that the accounting process there is not what we are proud for. We give money carefully.
“The panel report revealed that the institution operated 97 accounts. It also revealed that as at 2011/2012 session, there was about N400 million hanging that cannot be accounted for. Since 2012, the account of the institution has not been audited. So, the position of the two state governments is that the audit firm completes its assignment then we will do whatever we need to do. There is a lot of fund trapped that could not be accounted for.
“The position should be clear. The position of ASUU should be about the welfare of members of the union. Up till today, ASUU has not presented any document to government stating what it is agitating for. ASUU has been moving from one radio, television to another, involving in itinerant propaganda”, the commissioner said.
Olowofela, however called on the students to appeal to the Union members to cooperate with the auditing firm.
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