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Reply to LAUTECH ASUU: University Accounts And Forensic Audit: Setting The Records Straight.

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THE Oyo state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela has reacted to the recent statement credited to the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, ASUU, LAUTECH CHAPTER over the lingering imbroglio rocking the citadel of learning as regards the problem of funding of the University and owner state governments response to the issues.
Excerpts:
ISSUE : Our Union, ASUU, is aware of the persistent claim by the Oyo state Commissioner for Education, Prof. ‘Niyi Olowofela, on the operation of alleged 97 bank accounts by the LAUTECH and the release of N13.63 billion by the owner states between 2011 – 2016. Olowofela also claimed that members of staff Unions were the ones preventing the audit firm, KPMG, from carrying out the forensic exercise, on which the owner states premised their decision not to release funds to the University.

REACTION: For ease of reference, I want to draw the attention of ASUU to page 72 and 73 Visitation Panel’s report:

The Panel observed that the University opened ninety-seven 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 Central Bank of Nigeria. The Panel felt concerned about the monies in some of the banks that are no longer active and the possibility of the recovery in future. The banks include but not limited to, Intercontinental Bank, Oceanic Bank, Afribank and Enterprise Bank, just to mention a few. The implication of having funds in any of the banks that are in this category is that some of them might not be in a position to make good to the University, such sums of money standing to the credit of the Institution, if and when a demand is made for them).

ISSUE : Our Union is disturbed but not surprised, about this deliberate misinformation and manipulation of facts about issues on ground. While ASUU is NOT a mouthpiece for the University administration, it is strange that the governments which put LAUTECH administration in place cannot demand accountability from the same appointees. The prefer to confuse issues by putting blames on the door-step of the workers of the University and putting the lives and careers of about 30,000 students in jeopardy. The operation of the accounts solely lies with the University administration and it must be held responsible for any infractions thereof.

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REACTION : See page 39 Visitation Panel report for ease of reference: At the inaugural meeting of the Panel, the above documents were requested from the Bursar, who in turn made a qualified promise to make them available – the qualification being to the effect that not all of the documents/records could be made available as the (Bursary) was still working on them. The Panel was told that the arrears of work was as a result of the non-computerization of the Bursary Department’s operations, and that there were lots of arrears when the Bursar assumed the acting headship of the Bursary in 2013.

The findings in summary confirmed that the Panel got only the audited accounts for 2010/11 and 2011/12, while the ones for 2012/13, 9 months ended 2013, 2014 and 2015 were still being prepared, as at the time of the inaugural meeting. There was no Bank Reconciliation for the period and there was no standard Fixed Assets Register in place for the University since its inception, as well as an Accounting manual.

With the above situation being that which the Panel met on ground, the Panel was able to formulate an issue to be resolved for the University, which is “ineffective, inefficient and untimely record keeping of the accounting operations, resulting in inability to authenticate the accuracy and completeness of the accounting records of the University).

ISSUE : The wage bill of LAUTECH is about N365 million per month; this amounts to N4.38 billion per year. Therefore for 2011-2016, the total wage bill expected as subvention from the owner governments stood at N26.28 billion. This amount does not include allowances, gratuities and pensions that accrued. It is also necessary to note that the University administration used Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and reserves to offset salaries for 18 months.

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The IGR is derived essentially from fees paid by different categories of students. Therefore, it is appalling that the Commissioner for Education who is also a University Professor will be peddling lies alleging that N13.63 billion will pay EVEN salaries of members of staff for 6 years! During this period (2011-2016).

REACTION: I never talked about using subventions for payment of salaries, and you did not refute the fact that the owner states paid the said amount, I wonder why ASUU will abandon the truth on the table of exigencies, to have said I lied is indecorous, cantankerous and perfidious).

ISSUE: There was no release of capital grant and overheads to LAUTECH. Regarding capital development, infrastructure, acquisition of equipment and staff training, LAUTECH has barely managed to be credible as a university through ASUU-inspired Federal Government intervention programmes such as TetFund and NEEDs Assessment. It is particularly regrettable that the level of indebtedness of the owner states to the University succinctly captured by the Olanipekun Visitation Panel is being down-played by the Commissioner just to pursue the shadow they call “forensic audit”.

The locus of financial policy and the repository of the financial documents of LAUTECH are the University Council and administration which are the appropriate organs to be asked to account. Our Union, ASUU, should not be dragged into the encumbrances surrounding the financial auditing by KPMG and this should not be linked with non-payment of salaries.

Our union wants to point out the unexplained and unacceptable silence of the University administration on the claims highlighted above; a pointer to either the acceptance or connivance with the owner state governments to destroy LAUTECH.

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REACTION: (While on Fresh FM radio, Ibadan,  I asked, the ASUU and SSANU presidents, are you aware that Oyo-State Government has paid the 25 % subvention for January and February to LAUTECH? The SSANU president said, it’s a lie and I told him that, you should have used the world “I am not aware, I said asked your Bursar).

For your information the sum of 147.9 Million Naira for the month of January and February has been credited to LAUTECH by Oyo-State Government.

Furthermore, the ASUU President, asked me whether I am aware that Council tenure has expired, I ignored the question because I knew it was not true, when I asked him to confirm the expiration of council is July, he said Union will respond.

So the response, is to disparage the truth?

The position of Government is to solve the issue of LAUTECH permanently,  this campaign of calumny will soon fizzle away.

LAUTECH will rise again.
Stronger and better.

But Forensic Audit must be done.

 

Long live ASUU. Long Live Oyo and Osun States.

 

Professor J. A. Olowofela.

Commissioner for Education, Science & Technology, Oyo State.

 

 

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Oyo: Makinde Mother’s Burial Holds December

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Body of Chief   (Mrs.) Abigail Makinde, the mother of Oyo state governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde will be interred  in the first week of December.

Governor Makinde disclosed this yesterday while playing host to a delegation from the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi Ogunlade Odundun II, which was in Ibadan, the state capital to commiserate with him on the death of his mother.

The governor said he was very delighted with the visit, urging Akure people, the kingdom where his mother was born, to actively participate in her funeral.

Makinde, who  described them as one of the most upright, bold  and honest  people in Yoruba land and the nation at large, also added that his late mother was a role model whose dedication to work, uprightness, boldness and honesty were the traits of Akure people.

A statement by Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde,  quoted the governor as saying “when you see an average Akure man or woman, you see courage and see people who are true to their words.”

While delivering the condolence message from the Deji of Akure, the leader of the delegation, who is the Asae of Akure Kingdom, Senior High Chief Sola Adegbonmire, described the governor’s mother as a worthy daughter of Akure Kingdom.

He stressed that the Omoregie family, where Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde hailed from, is a family of exceptional and wonderful people in Akureland.

Oba Aladetoyinbo further described the death of Madam Makinde as a painful loss not only to the Makinde family but also to the entire Akure Kingdom.

He then prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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‘My mother was an epitome of love, humility’ – Gov. Makinde mourns

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The Oyo  state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, has described his late mother, Chief (Mrs.) Abigail Omojolagbe Makinde, as an epitome of love and humility, despite being a disciplinarian.

The governor stated this on Friday while receiving the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by the National Chairman, Prince Uche Sencondus, on a condolence visit to his house at Ikolaba GRA, Ibadan.

According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, the governor expressed gratitude to the PDP NWC, noting that the fact that the leadership of the party made it to Ibadan barely 24 hours after Mama’s demise showed the love they have for him.

The statement also noted that apart from the PDP NWC entourage, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo, and Delta States, Alhaji Daud Akinola, Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Sheikh AbdulGaniyy Abubakri Agbotomokekere, the Grand Mufti of Ibadanland, Sheikh Abdul Fatai Alaga, and other Muslim leaders also paid condolence visits to the governor.

Similarly, the Oyo State Judiciary led by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Muntar Abimbola, and the General Officer Commanding, 2 Div, Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major General Anthony Omozoje, were also at the Makinde residence to condole with the governor.

Speaking while receiving the PDP entourage, which included the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (retd); Deputy National Secretary; National Financial Secretary, Alhaji Abdullahi MaiBasira; National Woman Leader, Hajia Mariya Waziri; National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, as well a leader of the PDP from Osun State, Hon. Soji Adagunodo, Governor Makinde said the family remains grateful to God for the life Mama lived.

He said: “I want to thank you most sincerely for this condolence visit. I want to say, on behalf of myself, my wife, immediate family, and extended family, we are very grateful and appreciative of this visit. This happened yesterday morning and you are here this morning. It shows that you truly love me. So, I want to say thank you.

“Actually, we were preparing for my mummy’s 81st birthday, which would have been on the November 7, exactly three weeks from yesterday. But who are we to question God?

“We are grateful to God for the life she lived. To us, she was an epitome of love, humility. She was tough. If you see that trait in some of us, it came from her. And we also thank God that it was not like we were carrying her from one hospital to the other. She died peacefully in her sleep. So, we thank God for what He has done.”

Governor Makinde, who also took the opportunity to appreciate the PDP NWC for the confidence it had in him to lead the Ondo State governorship campaign, said what the outcome of the election meant was that the party would have to go back to the drawing board, adding that the campaign council will submit a report as soon as practicable.

“I will also like to use this opportunity to thank the National Working Committee of our great party for the opportunity you gave to us to lead the campaign in Ondo State. We can’t question God for the outcome of that election. What it means is that we have to go back to the drawing board. We will be submitting a report of those areas where we fell short, to the NWC as soon as practicable.

“I really want to use this opportunity to thank all of you who were there in Akure for the love of our party and for the support that you gave to our candidate in Ondo State.

“Once again, my Chairman, I am appreciative of this visit and I thank you and all the members of the NWC of our party.”

Earlier, the PDP national chairman said that the visit was to condole with the governor and the family for the loss of their mother.

He said: “A time like this is the time you know those who care and those who are with you. Unfortunately, we have two situations on our hands. We lost the chairman of the party in Zamfara. Obviously, we divided ourselves; the Deputy National Chairman of the party left for Zamfara yesterday morning for the burial of our late chairman of the party. And I and the rest of us in the National Working Committee leadership decided yesterday to come to Ibadan today.

“We are here by the grace of God to console you and the rest of the members of your family. We have no other way to do it than to join you in prayers.

“It is a very painful experience that you have to go through, sometimes alone. I know what it is because I have experienced it. It is only God that can fill the vacuum in your heart because the care of a mother is quite different from that of a father.

“So, on behalf of the leadership of our party, we are here to console you on this condolence visit. The Lord will strengthen you. And because you are one of our best and doing good works for the people of Oyo State and at this time that you are giving out your best, suddenly, God who gives has taken your beloved mother.

“We are here to share the pain and sorrow with you and to let you know we will continue in prayers during this period, even as we prepare for the funeral. After the funeral, we will continue to pray for you, your immediate and larger family. It is important for us to do so, having worked with you and having seen you as a man who is compassionate and cares for others.

“Today, we are here with you and we pray that God will energise you at this period and stretch His right hand of righteousness to touch every one of the members of the family to bear this great loss.

“Therefore, as members of the National Working Committee, we pray that God will keep you now and thereafter to make you continue to do the good work for the people of Oyo State

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Nigeria: Group drums support for #ENDSARS

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Benchmark Group of Nigeria on Friday declared its support for the ongoing peaceful #EndSARS protests, as Nigerians  speak up against police brutality.

Akanbi Bukola, founder of the group in a chat with Mega Icon Magazine said it is imperative to identify with Nigerians as protests continue around the country to end police brutality and the abuse of power by the institution established to protect its citizenry.

She noted that aside corruption and oppression from the hands of some elements of the Nigeria Police Force, “this time around, Nigerians, irrespective of faith, ethnic or political biases,  must come together to eradicate police brutality once and for all in the society”.

According to her, for many Nigerians, the police has failed to fulfill its mandate of providing public security as enshrined in the constitution, adding that officers are now viewed more as predators than protectors.

Akanbi lamented further that Nigerians struggling to make ends meet are accosted on a daily basis by these officers who demand bribes and commit abuses against them as a means of extorting money.

“Those who fail to pay are usually threatened with arrest and physical harm, by those expected to protect them”, she said.

Akanbi, however called for the overall reform of the country’s police force.

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