Panel orders UNILAG to close accounts with commercial banks


… .Detects financial abuse by senior executives

THE Visiting Panel at the University of Lagos, UNILAG, ordered the management to close all its accounts in commercial banks.

The panel also said it had uncovered cases of financial abuse by senior officials of the institution, noting that it had found the university in continued violation of the Treasury’s single account system directive, TSA.

The seven-member panel, headed by Gen. Martin Agwai (retired), said so in their report to the federal government.

The panel, which was formed on March 29, 2021, was mandated to investigate UNILAG affairs between 2016 and 2020, gave the directive in its report to the federal government.

The report reads: “Except with the written permission of the President, not all limited liability companies at the University of Lagos are permitted to maintain accounts with commercial banks. They are supposed to keep their accounts only with the Central Bank, through the Treasury’s single account system, CUT, which is already in place.

“That any funds not transferred to TSA within the period indicated in the circular on November 19, 2018” will be deemed to be hidden and confiscated.

“The panel found the university in continued violation of this directive and circular by maintaining accounts in commercial banks, without the required written permission of the president.

“The board should ensure that the university does not lose any of its funds by ordering all limited liability companies in the university to close all their accounts with commercial banks and adopt the TSA, as stated by the government.

“The Board should ensure that competent individuals familiar with the administration and financial management of the University are employed to manage the finances of the University.

“There are instances where key executives exceed approval limits by approving related and similar expenses that would normally be one piece of procurement.

“This could be interpreted as a splitting of contracts or services so that they are within an agent’s limit and avoid the rules governing large tenders, violation of public procurement laws and tax liabilities. ”

The panel recalled that the council of Wale Babalakin, during its meeting held on Thursday, November 14, 2019, approved the constitution of a sub-committee to examine the estimate of the 2020 budget of the University of Lagos following the conclusions of the president of the council according to which the budget the budgetary forecasts submitted to the National Assembly and that presented to the Committee of finance and general affairs were discordant and irreconcilable.

The panel, however, said their explanations were untenable as they were simply trying to justify the reasons for the contract split.

The Agwai panel, in its report, said, “There are cases where key executives exceed approval limits by approving related and similar expenses that would normally be one piece of procurement.

“This could be interpreted as a splitting of contracts or services so that they are within an agent’s limit and avoid the rules governing large tenders, violation of public procurement laws and tax liabilities. ”

The visiting committee said that with regard to approval limits and the sharing of contracts and services, the Bursar and other interviewed parties, including the purchasing manager, based their position on the lack of funds to assume the entire contract at one time and overpayments, they explained that the excess of amounts paid for services was an additional cost over certified work that became inevitable despite the expiration of the first agreement contractual.

Breaking News Nigeria

About Ruben V. Albin

Check Also

Saudi commercial banks’ June deposits rose 8.7%, their highest level in 16 months

Focus on India – Trade with Russia and Sri Lanka expected to reach $9 billion; …