Lagos State University speaks on diverting N198m school fund

Lagos State University (LASU) has described as false and baseless a publication accusing its management of diverting N198 million staff pension fund to buy luxury cars.

LASU spokesman, Ademola Adekoya, said in a statement on Monday that at no time did the university borrow from its Staff Contributory Fund to finance accreditation expenses.

Adekoya said the university only borrowed N474 million from its provision and not from pension fund in order to meet past service obligations.

“The Pension Fund for members of staff who are yet to register with Pension Fund Administrators, which is less than N100 million, is intact.

“As a matter of practice, the university does not default in the payment of its obligations to either the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) or its retirees.

“The Lagos State Pension Commission (LASPEC), the regulatory body for pension fund, had recently commended the university for its efficiency in remittance,” Adekoya said.

He said the money borrowed was a proactive measure to ensure that the university did not lose its accreditation of the programmes presented to the National University Commission (NUC).

According to him, the measure followed an information that the commission would henceforth conduct accreditation once yearly.

“The aftermath of losing accreditation of the 37 programmes would have been devastating because the university would not be able to admit students for the programmes.

“Further to the approval of the university’s budget by Lagos State Government and the need to urgently commence preparation for the accreditation as set by the NUC, the university took the initiative of sourcing for required funds internally, pending release of same by the state government,” he said.

According to him, the university was able to record over 95 per cent success in the programmes presented for accreditation, adding that all programmes presently offered in the institution were duly accredited.

Adekoya noted that the university’s 2018 budget approved by the Lagos State Government also included the sum of N474 million for accreditation.

He explained that the sum catered for various laboratory equipment, motor vehicles, office furniture/accessories, generators, books and manpower requirement.

He said that all the vehicles purchased were all in the name of the university, constituting an asset of the institution.

The university spokesman stated that the vehicles were bought from foremost Toyota dealers in Nigeria and verifiable.

“Aside approval of budget, there are layers of checks that ensure that purchases are done in line with best practices.

“These layers of checks include the internal audit, office of the special adviser on education, line ministries, office of the Lagos State Auditor–General and the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation, ” he said.

Adekoya emphasised that the university obtained approval of the Governing Council while the Office of the Special Adviser on Education and the governor, the Visitor to the University were duly carried along in the steps taken.

“At no time did the Pro -Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor violate the provisions of the financial guidelines of the university.

“It must be stated at this point that there appeared to be a deliberate attempt by the author of the publication in his usual habit to use a credible platform to denigrate the relentless efforts of the present university administration.

“His antecedents in raising frivolous, baseless and uninformed allegations against the university has not gone unnoticed,” Adekoya said.

He, however, assured that the university remained committed to achieving the vision of its founding fathers and would continue to work under the auspices of the governing council.