The whole point of a forensic audit is to provide a roadmap for the future. If a process is broken, an audit is a very good way of achieving a preventive mechanism against same or similar mishappenings in the future. To state the obvious, it is clear that the process, operating structure and mechanism of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) is broken and has to be fixed. This has to start with a thorough audit.
Without the audit, the co-financing owner states of the institution will be reenacting says law, which every school pupil knows as “throwing good money after bad”. There is obviously something very disturbing about the reports that the labour unions of the institution were reported to have frustrated the Accounting Firm, KPMG which was engaged by the two owner states, Osun and Oyo to audit the finances of the university, as part of the recommendations by the Chief Wole Olanipekun-led visitation panel. Series of drama and threat have thereafter trailed and frustrated this effort to get the institution back on its feet.
The Olanipekun-led panel had found out that the LAUTECH accounts were audited last in 2012, and a sum of N400 million was in question then, just as it revealed that the university runs 97 different accounts, in spite of the Treasury Single Account policy that has since been in vogue as recommended and adopted by the Federal government since 2015. The panel also found that the TETFUND and the Need Assessment Fund running into billions of naira had been given to LAUTECH without commensurate research output to show for it.
It is totally unacceptable that a citadel of learning should be averse to modern management methods which allows for auditing. It also makes one to ponder as to whether or not they are on the same page with the laudable anti-corruption battle. An aversion for auditing in any institution whether public or private sector has specks of corruption.
It is absolutely clear now that there are vested interests who for self-serving reasons want to prolong the strike, in order to hide their abnormalities and other shortcomings. It means that they are using the students as ‘human shield’ to emotionally blackmail the owners of the institution into submitting to their own interests.
This is completely unacceptable. The convention on warfare makes the use of non-combatants, as a shield, a war crime. In industrial relations, using innocent students as a shield is tantamount to the same thing. The time has come for the management and the unions to allow the visitation report of the Olanipekun-led panel to be implemented. This will allow the students to get on with their lives. They owe them that moral obligation.