9 sins of UNILAG’s VC, his failed defence, complications

The committee set up to probe UNILAG’s embattled Vice Chancellor Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe is out with the report.

It’s, however just, a report.

Ogundipe has dug in his heels.

According to the investigative panel headed by the varsity’s Pro-chancellor Wale Babalakin, the veecee perpetrated financial atrocities frowned upon by Nigeria’s procurement act and UNILAG’s standards.

Here are the 9 sins Ogundipe allegedly committed:

1.Without approval, the vice-chancellor, the bursar and the immediate-past registrar spent N49,434,038.46 , N41,817,658.32 , and N16,123,509.00) respectively on renovating their houses. The panel said  “allocations for the refurbishment of principal officers’ quarters in 2017 and 2018 were zero and N50,000,000 respectively.

Defence

Ogundipe, however, said the renovation work includes both civil works and housing furniture. In accordance with the Memorandum of Appointment (MOA), outgoing VCs leave with their furniture. And that the Works and Physical Planning Department identified certain deficiencies that needed attention in those houses.

2, The VC went on a spending spree lwithout any sort of approval.

  1. The vice-chancellor paid the dean of student affairs N2.5million every month as security vote, and the council said nothing like that happens in any university in Nigeria. He contravened the University of Lagos Act 1967, the Federal Government and University of Lagos Financial Regulations.

Defence

But the vice-chancellor said the funds were used in paying clandestine operatives who provide undercover security for the university, based on a long-standing policy in the institution.

  1. Ogundipe paid N117.9 million to two security companies—Shelter Guards Ltd and Nigerian Legions—without valid contracts.

Defence

Ogundipe said the hiring of the companies without contracts was instituted in 2004 during a session of violence and insecurity, and has since become a norm to hire that way.

But convention, the panel said, cannot override statutory regulations.

  1. The VC made four payments, totaling N228m, for waste management, janitorial service and facility maintenance without valid contracts and approval of the tenders board.
  2. Ogundipe also spent N94m—instead of N85m budgeted—for the 2017 convocation.

Defence

Ogundipe said the movement of the ceremony to “the main auditorium to give the ceremonies the grandeur befitting of the University” meant “more expenses on logistics which included providing free transport to ease movement from the gates to the venue.

He also said the JAC strike of that year caused the university to change the date, thus having to reprint invitation cards and the brochures.

  1. In 2017, Mr Ogundipe was found to have spent N22.8 million without approvals to buy motor vehicles.

8, He also indulged in “contract splitting for the purchase of two Toyota Avensis 2.0 for DVC (Management Services) and DVC (Development Services)—for N52m instead of the N5Om approved— in 2018.

  1. Ogundipe spent beyond his approval limit on allowances for staff travelling overseas. He also said estacodes for local running when the Chapter 14 of the Federal Government Financial Regulation states that Duty Tour Allowances shall be paid to any officer on official tour within Nigeria. For local running, officers shall be entitled to 30 per cent of DTA in addition to airport and taxi fare at the prevailing rates

Defence

Ogundipe said the Federal Government Financial Regulation (Chapter 14) does not state that local running should not be paid where estacode has been paid. He noted that travel is no contract so there’s no need for any approval threshold.

Babalakin has removed Ogundipe afer the panel reviewed the report, and the VC has gone to court.

Ogundipe’s argument is that only the Visitor, which in the federal university terms refers to the president, can unseat a vice chancellor.

Again, there’s no active  staffer of the varsity that should take the institution to court for any reason.

 

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