University of Lagos Crisis: How Professor Ogundipe Disregarded Procedures, Laws and Misappropriated N800m in 3 Years

University of Lagos Crisis: How Professor Ogundipe Disregarded Procedures, Laws and Misappropriated N800m in 3 Years

As reactions continue trailing the removal of Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, more details have emerged on how the sacked Chief Executive Officer of the University ignored extant procedures and laws for the award of contracts and management of the Institution’s various units. These were contained in a widely circulated extracts of reports of committees instituted by the Governing Council to investigate alleged financial misdemeanor of Professor Ogundipe, who became Vice Chancellor in 2017.

Before the release of the extracts to the public, several reports indicate that the sacked Vice Chancellor has approached Court through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, to challenge his “purported removal” in court. Reports have also revealed how various unions in the institution kicked against his removal and rejected by the University Senate. Meanwhile, an examination of the extracts from the Committees’ reports by our analyst indicates that Professor Ogundipe misappropriated N845,319,951.84 [see University of Lagos Extracts from Reports of Committees].

The report, which was signed by Dr. Mohammad Saminu Dagari, Council Member, indicates that N576,019,494.30 was spent without the approval of F&GPC and N117,942,000.00 was spent on engaging contractors without valid contract processes. It was also found that the sum of N151,358,457.54 was paid to varied contractors after their contracts expired.

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On foreign and local travels of staff for conferences, visits and other activities, the extracts reveal a number of financial recklessness. For example, some of the staff who went on foreign trips were found to have more funds than what the Vice Chancellor can approve. A number of them spent beyond stipulated amount for an estacode while on foreign trips.  In the Postgraduate School and the College of Medicine, various poor accountability and financial practices were also found by the Committees.

Financial Issues with Income Generating Units

Apart from the spending without approval by the relevant committees of the University Council, the extracts from the reports also weaknesses of income generating units in the University. Some of the issues in select units are reproduced below;

  1. UNILAG Radio has been in existence for a long time and in 2014 fetched a revenue of N21,025,873 before the decline of revenue to N6,867,371 and N 12,203,860 in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
  2. Not all the Income Generating Units operate separate Bank Accounts.
  3. UNILAG Holding Company Limited. From 2014 to 2018, there was no year that the group of companies made any profit leading to a total loss of N190.509 million. Its worst year of operation was 2017 when it recorded a loss of more than N100 million. Total tax liability of N94,117,000.
  4. Key Financial Summary of UNILAG Guest Houses and Conference Centre Ltd (2014-2018). The worst revenue decline was observed, from N200.676 million in 2016 to N 49.487 million in 2017, when Golden Tulips West Africa Hospitality Management Limited (GTWA) ran the Guest Houses. In 2017, the company reported a loss of N52.501million due to its inability to generate enough revenue to cover its operational expenses.
  5. University of Lagos Pharmaceuticals Ltd. During the period 2015 to 2019, the company made a total loss of N6.192 million; Apart from 2016 when it made a profit before tax of N8.831 million, the company made a total loss of N33.01 million from 2014 to 2018. A major reason for the losses reported by the company is the high cost of administrative expenses in comparison with the gross profit made. For examples, administrative expenses amounted to 162.4% and 182.8% of gross profit in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
  6. The UNILAG Bookshop made a total loss of N37.422 million during the period 2014 to 2018.
  7. During the period 2014 to 2018 UNILAG Press made a total loss of N20.466 million.
  8. UNILAG CONSULT. During the period from December 2015 to December 2018, the company recorded a total loss N64,391,568, although a profit ofN17,427,835 was reported in 2017.
  9. Distance Learning Institute. The total revenue recorded over the 2014-2018 five-year period was highest in 2014 with a figure of Nl,621,108,960.00 (one billion six hundred and twenty-one million one hundred and eight thousand nine hundred and sixty naira only). The figure however fell to N1,136,513,747.00 in 2017 and finally N1,154,320,072.00 in 2018.

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