Some lecturers of Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, have accused the institution’s management of spending N3. 5billion meant for hostel renovation and construction of new lecture theaters in breach of due process and transparency.
The lecturers under the Budget Monitoring Committee of the Academic Staff Union of Universities chapter of the school say the funds were part of the N100billion released by the Federal Government in 2013 for all universities in response to the long drawn agitations of ASUU against the government.
A report by the committee addressed to ASUU members, states that management failed to follow due process in contract awarding as well as failing to utilize needs assessment phase 1 funds made available to the institution in August 2013 as required by the guidelines.
The report which was signed by the committee’s chairman, A.O, Aderibigbe, on 4th of January 2016, also noted that the approval for the release of the funds was done in writing by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education addressed to the Vice Chancellor of OAU on 23rd of August 2013.
It indicated that the letter from the Ministry of Education conveyed the approval of N3.5billion needs Assessment phase 1, funds to OAU under the Special university revitalization programme based on the needs Assessment report.
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Projects which were to be carried out as approved, as mentioned by the monitoring committee in the report are: Rehabilitation/Renovation of hostels for N200million; Rehabilitation/Renovation of lecture theaters and lecture rooms for N250million; Construction of new facilities-Hostels, N 2billion; Construction of new facility -Lecture Theaters and lecture rooms, N300million and Construction of new facility -Laboratories and Library, N300million; all totaling N3.5billion.
The committee noted that the second tranche of the funds totaling N2.833billion was transferred from the Central Bank of Nigeria to two commercial bank accounts operated by the institution.
According to the ASUU monitoring committee, while the approval letter quoted an allocation of the sum of N3.5billion, the university claimed it received only N2.833billon.
Puzzling to the committee still, is how an allocation of N3.5billion naira meant to execute projects worth the same sum, would turn out to become N2.833billion.
Another allegation laid down against its management is that the university had unilaterally identified, prioritized and awarded contracts for some of the projects with total exclusion and sidelining of university budget monitoring committee,
ASUU BMC said that in compliance with the IMC Guidelines the projects should be awarded with the knowledge of ASUU’s monitoring committee, adding that the management was in violation of stipulated guidelines and due process which the implementation monitoring committee had spelt out for accessing the intervention fund for Nigerian Public Universities, but the school failed to abide by the guidelines.