Chris Steven, Abuja
Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu on Tuesday disclosed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is currently investigating a number of allegations of financial impropriety arising from the utilization of the take-off grants in some of the universities such as Federal University Kashere, Gombe State, Federal University Dutsin-ma, Katsina State and Federal University Utuoke, Bayelsa State.
He disclosed this while explaining that the decision of Federal Government to conduct an audit of the utilization of the grants for the take-off projects in 12 Federal Universities established by the former president Goodluck Jonathan administration was as a result of the avalanche of complaints and petitions on the management of the grants from stakeholders.
The 12 new universities are Federal University Lokoja, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Federal University Dutse, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, and Federal University Gusau. Others are Federal University Kashere, Federal University Gashua, Federal University Birnin-Kebbi, Federal University Lafia, Federal University Otuoke, and Federal University Wukari.
They were established by the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan to create more access to tertiary education by Nigerian youths as well as to give all states of the federation equal opportunity in term of federal university.
Adamu who made this disclosure at the inauguration of a seven-man audit panel chaired by a former Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Olufemi Bamiro said the 12 universities were provided with grants to enable them to effectively meet their operational recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure towards execution of various identified take-off projects.
“However, in order to further consolidate the funding of these universities to enable them achieve their overriding objectives, it is highly desired, in line with the stance of the present government on transparency and accountability in public affairs, that an audit of the utilization of the grants for the take-off projects in thw 12 universities be undertaken.
The audit is also necessitated by the avalanche of the complaints and petitions from stakeholders and clients including the new Vice Chancellors of the 12 universities as well as campus-based unions and community leaders” he said
It would be recalled that the Federal Government had in March 2016 sacked all the Vice Chancellors appointed for the universities by the former president Jonathan and appointed new ones without giving reasons for their removal.