The vice-chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Professor John Obafunwa has blamed most of the problems confronting the institution on the propensity of some senior employees of the university to continue to rip-off the system.
Obafunwa, who disclosed this at the weekend in a press conference, noted that the issue of hike in the school fees of the institution being adduced for the lingering crisis in the university had been resolved.
He said, “On the question of agitation, it is not unlikely that because of the probing attitude of this administration, the request that everything should be placed on the table, it is only natural that some elements would not be happy. So could it be dealing with issues that are beyond what we are seeing? I don’t know. It is an open question.
“In the external system, apart from the issue of examinations and trying to reduce some distractions, we were also to clamp down on money that has not been well accounted for, either you wanting to claim money for lecture you did not give as a resource person or collecting money that was not due to you because you did not actually work for it.
“We were able to ask questions about certain claims made in previous years because we inherited a lot of backlogs, either as honoraria or whatever people were claiming. And when the money was going to be paid it was like pay at sight. You had officials of the internal system there then you have auditors, and you have other monitors there.”
Noting that when the exercise was being carried out it was done campus by campus, the Vice Chancellor declared, “At the first exercise, the director was able to save N114 million, the second exercise he was able to save over N22 million. Hitherto money was being paid to whatever individual account, and they would distribute to whatever. But this time around cheque was written in the name of the resource person from bursary, and you have to present yourself to receive it.
“So you couldn’t come to say I am so and so a person; records are checked; you cannot impersonate. And if you are entered for four courses, you cannot come in there and say you are claiming 8 or 10 courses. In such a situation, you can be sure some elements will not be happy” .
Still on accountability, Obafunwa said the first of the bloated contract estimates he got was N15 million to repair all that was damaged in the School’s ICT unit, including roofs and other facilities adding that by the time the repairs were finished the institution spent a little over N3 million. (Leadership)