The Bursar, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Dr. Michael Alatise, has cleared the air on some stories flying round about the finances of the premier university.
Speaking on a live radio programme, Diamond FM, Dr. Alatise said the auditor he talked about at the National Assembly did not die while auditing the university’s accounts, adding that the man is still alive.
Alatise said:”Let me shock you by saying that the Vice-Chancellor was invited by the Public Account Committee but the Vice-Chancellor was not around, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration, Prof. Kayode Adebowale represented the VC at the public hearing. The presentation of University of Ibadan was actually made by Prof. Adebowale. I only made clarification when questions were being asked.
“The auditor did not become blind while auditing the accounts of the university. What happened is this: going through the history lane, I can tell you that we had Alhaji Akinmade auditing the accounts of University of Ibadan up until 1999. And M.O. Kehinde and Co., Chartered Accountants started the audit of University of Ibadan from 1999 and the last accounts it audited is up to 2007/2008. This account was actually completed and submitted in 2011. We then engaged another audit firm to continue the auditing of the university accounts beginning from 2008/2009. This is Oyedele Akinbode and Co. Chartered Accountants. All these firms are firms that we call partnership. Now, M.O. Kehinde for 2007/2008 submitted its accounts for 2007/2008. The audited account was signed by the Vice-Chancellor and the Bursar. The report was submitted to the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation.
“But when the incoming auditor, Oyedele Akinbode and Co.started their auditing, they needed some clarification on the accounts of 2007/2008 that was by M.O. Kehinde and Co.
“Traditionally, the auditors are supposed to maintain two files. One is what we call Permanent File and the other one is called Current File. The current file should detail the nitty-gritty of work done by the auditor. The clarification that Oyedele Akinbode needed should actually be in that current file for 2007/2008 audited account done by M.O. Kehinde. By that time, the Glacoma problem of Managing Partner of M.O. Kehinde and Co. had gone worse and he could no longer see.
So, there was a delay of close to one-and-a-half year before Oyedele Akinbode could come turn in the first account. Now account is prepared year by year. When you finished the auditing of first financial year ,you go to the auditing of the next financial year. That was exactly what played out.
“We were trying to give reasons why university has not completed the account of 2014 to 2018 as demanded by the Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives. The first reason that we made mention of is that there was delay for Oyedele Akinbode to take off and it needed to have a smooth handshake with the auditor that retired: M.O. Kehinde. That was what caused the first delay. Not that the man became blind while auditing the account of the university.
“Let me add this, as at that time,M O. Kehinde had dissolved the partnership. The Baba was getting aged and he felt he never wanted to leave a problem for his immediate family and those working with him were disengaged. It then became difficult for Baba to give to where current files were. But when members of the Committee heard that the man went blind, everybody started laughing”.
He added that the man is still living in Ibadan.
On the allegation of budget padding by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Bursar explained:”I was surprised that Prof. (Bolaji) Owasanoye (ICPC chairman) could make such unclarified statement about University of Ibadan because there is no MDA that submitted or padded for 2019 that was approved. What precisely happened was Budget Office only exterpolated 2018 budget by afding two per cent for 2019 for all MDAs. So, there was no budget,not to talk of any padding. But the officials from ICPC visited University of Ibadan in October 2019 to look at our payroll records and they verified it up to 31st of July ,2019 such that we have some funds that were not utilized. These funds were explained to them because by that time, we just paid salary. What we normally do is to pay next salary first. Then deductions follow. Not because we want to delay the payment of deductions but the process of paying the next salary to staff is short compared to process of paying deductions”.
He added that the statement was embarrassing to the university, saying: “The statement was premature,not correct.ICPC should have made clarification. It embarrassed the university”.