…says VCs collect N5.76m furniture allowance
Chris Steven, Abuja
The National Universities Commission, (NUC), has accused some bursars of Federal Universities of financial recklessness, citing it as one of the reasons why university autonomy might not be feasible.
Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary of NUC, who made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja during a meeting with Federal Universities Bursars, said that some bursars give their Vice Chancellors over N5.76 million annually for furniture allowance.
Lamenting the recklessness, he announced that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC)had begun investigations into such irregularities and dubious characters portrayed by some of the bursars and vice chancellors to curb such excesses.
Rasheed who emphasized the need for bursars to adopt a common accounting and reporting platform form in order to address the challenges confronting the universities, explained that although the universities were running a unified scheme, the scheme was interpreted differently whereby quite a number of vice chancellors receive between N1.4 m to N1.5m, while others get about a million.
“There are many areas where you have to put your heads together. We have a lot of problems and you know them. If we may ask; you as bursars in federal universities, what salaries do you pay your Vice-Chancellors? You will see that there may be as many salaries as there are many universities here. And this is one of the sources of crises.
“If all the 40 federal universities pay one single salary to all the VCs, that problem will have been resolved. This is why many of the university people are being taken to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“The EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, is coming to my office this week to pay a courtesy visit. He wants me to even arrange a meeting with the VCs and bursars. The EFCC is investigating so many universities as you are aware. One of the areas being investigated by the EFCC is the Furniture Allowance.
“Many universities fail to interpret what we mean by the Furniture Allowance. Common sense tells us that the government will never allocate N5.77m as furniture allowance to the VC. Yet many bursars in many universities allow vice chancellors to take N480, 000 monthly as furniture allowance and you know it is wrong.
“This is why whenever the EFCC comes, there is crisis, and the VCs and the bursars are the easy targets. This interaction is to address these issues,” he said.
The NUC scribe urged the bursars to ensure strict adherence to federal circulars as it was the basis of auditing universities account. He further advised them to be transparent, diligent and desist from allowing the vice chancellors take undue advantage of the system by receiving huge sums of money not allocated for.