Nigeria: How Edo Colleges Altered Establishing Law, Expended Monies Without Approval ― Commission

14 February 2020

Says college expended 2.181bn TETFund allocation without due process

The Commission of Inquiry set up by the Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, to investigate activities of four tertiary institutions in the state in the last 10 years, has uncovered how the law establishing one of the colleges was altered, and funds expended by circumventing due process.

These findings were contained in Part One of the Commission's reports submitted by its Chairman, Mrs Gladys Idahor, to the governor, at Government House, in Benin City.

The commission's Part One report covers the operations of the College of Education, Igueben and Michael Imoudu College of Physical Education, Afuze.

Idahor noted that the Governing Council of College of Education, Igueben, under Chief J. S. Oni, tampered with some aspects of the law establishing the College to enable the council review stipends and allowances of the college without the approval of the appropriate authority.

She noted that the Commission discovered that without the approval of the governor, the College of Education, Igueben, expended N3.5 million for the accreditation of courses, adding, "The college at different times upgraded its staff without following due process leading to supersession and unmerited promotion.

"The college benefitted from Tertiary Education Trust (TETFund) to the tune of N2.181 billion. However, none of the projects was advertised in any local newspaper."

She said it was difficult for the Commission to obtain documents from the Michael Imoudu College of Physical Education, Afuze as the institution's management claimed its financial records were destroyed by a rainstorm.

Idahor revealed that no payment voucher was prepared to show how the sum of N77, 592,838 was expended as required by the financial rules and regulations, noting, "At present, the school is not functioning as there are no students arising from directives of the ministry to stop the admission of students.

"The total number of staff in the college as at date is eight, who are all deployed from Post Primary Education Board, State Universal Basic Education Board and Ministry of Education."

She added that part 2 of the commission's report which will query the operations of the College of Education, Ekiadolor, and College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi would be presented as soon as possible.

In his remarks, the governor commended the dedication of the commission in getting useful documents for the inquiry process.

He said there was no going back on the repositioning of educational institutions in the state, noting, "We are determined to carry out reforms in our education sector and this report will be studied in detail and sent to another committee to ensure that anyone involved in financial misappropriation would be dealt with."

Obaseki added that the institutions would remain closed until total revamp and repositioning were completed.

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