Senate knocks UNILAG over ‘procurement fraud’

The Senate Committee on Public Procurement has summoned the Management of University of Lagos (UNILAG) over alleged fraud in its procurement bid. Members of the Committee led by its Chairman, Wale Oke were at the institution at the weekend on a fact-finding mission to investigate the alleged financial misappropriation running into billions of naira. He


UNILAG MAIN GATE

The Senate Committee on Public Procurement has summoned the Management of University of Lagos (UNILAG) over alleged fraud in its procurement bid.

Members of the Committee led by its Chairman, Wale Oke were at the institution at the weekend on a fact-finding mission to investigate the alleged financial misappropriation running into billions of naira.

GOVERNOR AKINWUNMI AMBODE OF LAGOS

He told journalists at the weekend in Lagos that the move was pursuant to the resolution of the House, which mandated it to investigate the alleged infractions on provisions of Public Procurement Act 2007 and other financial issues.

He stated that the allegation by the institution’s pro-Chancellor, Wole Babalakin, of financial misappropriation by management of the university was “very weighty and we felt that we should investigate his claims and that was what brought us here”.

Already, the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Federal Ministry of Education had taken steps to resolve the issues.

Consequently, the Committee had invited the stakeholders to resolve the issue and, “part of the things we established was that there was no clear understanding of the functions of both the council and the management of the University”.

Besides, the Senate Committee on Public Procurement has summoned the contractor, Runsewe Olatunde and consultant, Oreoluwa Fadayomi, handling the UNILAG collapsed new library building to appear before it today.

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The move was in response to rising cases of building collapses in the Country.

Oke, who stated that the Committee came to find facts on ground so that it can report to the House investigating the seven-storey building of the new library, added that the visit would determine whether the project would continue or not.

Oke also said: “We have drawn the attention of the university’s council members to the provisions of Section 20 of Procurement Act, that the accounting officer, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, has the mandate to manage, supervise, and ensure compliance with the Provision of Procurement Act.

“That has been stated clearly and am very happy that there are legal luminaries on the board of the Council.

Section 20 made it very clear, that it shall be immaterial whether he has delegated a person or group of persons to carry out one function or the other, that in case of any infraction, he shall be personally held liable.

“We have drawn his attention to this provision that henceforth he should take charge of this. If anything goes wrong, the government will hold him responsible and prosecute him”, he said.

Other members of the panel, including Bode Ayorinde, Onyenweife Gabriel, Solomon Moreu, Sam Onuigbo, Abdullahi Gurin.

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