By Olanrewaju Oyedeji
The Public Accounts Committee of the Nigerian Senate has revealed that it has commenced an inquiry into how the management of federal universities spend their Internally Generated Revenue, IGR.
According to a statement from the influential Senate committee, this is to ensure transperency and a corruption-free university system.
It was gathered that the Senate gave out letters to all federal universities, requesting a batter of information from the administrators.
Vice Chancellors were accordingly directed to furnish the Senate Committee with ‘information concerning the underlisted regarding the utilization of the University’s Internally Generated Revenue from Jan, 2011 to 31st December, 2015.’
They include details of sources of Internally Generated Revenue, details of Revenue generated from each source on a yearly basis, mode of collection, names and addresses of banks used for collection and bank statements for each Bank account used for IGR on a yearly basis.
Others are the details of Expenditure incurred from the IGR, approvals of Expenditures made, details of contracts awarded, names and addresses of contractors, schedule of payments to contractors, evidence of Due Process and Competitive Tenders for the Contracts and evidence of Performance Bond and Bank Guarantee submitted by Contractors.
They are also being requested to provide the Senate with evidence of completion of projects, details of withholding tax and VAT deductions and remittances with evidences and Audited Accounts and Management Reports for each year.”
Contacted to confirm if his principal has received the letter from the senate and was already preparing his response as requested by the National Assembly, the Public Relations Officer of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Mr. Olanrewaju Abiodun however denied tht any such letter been received in the Office of the Vice Chancellor, OAU.
“I am not aware of such summons as my principal is yet to brief me. But notwithstanding, there is no cause for alarm as we have no skeletons in our cupboard,” he responded.
However the Senate Public Accounts Committee has explained that “the move to ask for all of the listed documents from the universities was extended to all federal universities.” In addition, the secretariat of the Senate Public Accounts Committee is also affirming that they will not hesitate to conduct extensive public hearings into the conduct of the management of any university that is found to be wanting.
Speaking via telephone with a representative of the Senate PAC secretariat who pleaded anonymity, he clarified that the call for information was a normal exercise: “we didn’t invite any vice chancellor for probe. What we did was to ask for information about how the Internally Generated Revenue has been spent and we requested that from all federal universities. There are processes in the Public Accounts Department. If the university cannot defend their accounts then we will hold a public hearing where the vice chancellor or account officer will be allowed to openly defend himself but as at now no vice chancellor has been called up for that,” he stated.