Gov. Bello orders Forensic Auditing of Tertiary Institutions

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By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna.
Emerging reports about financial recklessness by authorities of higher institutions of learning owned by Niger State may have prompted the state Governor and visitor to such institutions to call for a scientific probe of their account books.
 
While managements of such institutions have over time been crying over poor funding, dearth of equipment, and working tools, a report by a committee set up by the state to consider the merits or otherwise of establishing a University of Education in the state, may have opened up a can of worms in the affairs of the tertiary institutions of learning in the state.
 
Worried by alleged inadequate funding, financial discrepancies and corruption, he state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello who was stunned by the discovered discrepancies in the account books of the institutions and glaring cases of corruption and abuse of limits financial thresholds by authorities in the institutions, said a forensic audit of the finances of all the state owned tertiary institutions of learning in the past two years had become most imperative.
 
Bello while giving the directives when he received the report of the committee on the viability of establishing state owned University of Education, said auditing the finances of the institutions will enable the government know what had been pumped into the institutions, what had been done and are left undone.
 
The committee which was led by a foremost educationist cum administrator in the state, Hajiya Dije Bala had indicted some state owned tertiary institutions of generating monies but were often times largely wasted on frivolities.
 
The report accused the institutions of wasteful spending, corruption and mismanagement of public resources and recommendation that a visiting panel be set up to visit the institutions to check such wastages and guard against leakages of government’s lean resources.
 
The committee also suggested that mechanism to cut down on various areas of spending should be worked out in order to cut down financial wastages in the institutions.
 
The Governor while accepting the report reiterated the need for probity and accountability in the public sector and therefore ordered the audit of the accounts, particularly the incomes and expenditures of all the state owned institutions of higher learning.
 
Particularly noteworthy in the committee’s findings was the case of the state owned University in Lapai, where it was found out that the University was well funded as against claims by its authorities of inadequate funding.
 
Hajiya Dije Bala, a veteran teacher, school administrator and civil servant, had told Governor Bello that her committee was able to establish, from available records that the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU), Lapai has been buoyant in the last three years.
 
Following these revelations, the Governor directed the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Finance to immediately commence forensic audit of the incomes and expenditures of all the tertiary institutions in the state without let.
“From your findings, it shows that IBBU, Lapai can stand on its own. And that beside her Internally Generated Revenue, large chunk of money it receives as subventions from the state government should be used for capital projects” said Governor Bello.
 
The University is funded by the state government and contributions from the twenty five local government councils of the state.
 
The committee had recommended the harmonization of what it called “several grey areas” in the existing structures at the state College of Education, Minna which is being planned to dovetail into the proposed University of Education. It said the identified areas were required to be on ground before the full takeoff of the University of Education.

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