From Samuel Bello & Peter Emeraghi, Abuja
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, yesterday inaugurated a seven-member audit panel to undertake the task of browsing through the books of 12 federal universities established between 2011 and2013.
The audit panel was specifically mandated to probe the financial management of the universities, with emphasis on the usage of their take off grants released through the National Universities Commission (NUC).
The affected universities in Lokoja, Oye-Ekiti, Ndufu-Alike, Dutse, Dutsin-Ma, Gusau, Kashere, Gashua, Birnin-Kebbi, Lafia, Otuoke and Wukari.
The minister tasked the Prof. Olufemi Bamiro panel to assess the status of all the projects executed using the take off grants and determine the number of contracts awarded including contract sums
He said the audit wass necessitated by the avalanche of complaints and petitions from stakeholders and clients including the new vice chancellors of the universities as well as campus based unions and community leaders.
He added that some of the universities were being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), citing Kashere, Dutsinma and Otuoke.
He urged the panel to complete the assignment within 12 weeks, and reassured that the panel was not on a witchhunt mission, but to establish facts that could lead to advancement of the institutions.
Bamiro assured the minister that the confidence reposed on the members of the panel would not be misplaced.
Other members of the panel are: Mansur Ahmed, Umar Aliyu, Mr. Freddy Ezemma, Prof. Patrick Ehi Oshiomole, Mr. S. L Abubakar and Kefas Magaji, who would serve as secretary.