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New accounting rules for higher institutions

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A new accounting rule, mandating the management of the Federal Government-owned tertiary institutions in the country to submit the monthly trial balance of their financial transactions to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation has been reeled out by the government.

Besides, each of the institutions is to submit a detailed account to the same office on yearly basis starting from 2017, while it has become mandatory for the institution to get its trial balance for this year ready on or before March 17, this year.

The new accounting rule, New Telegraph gathered, is part of efforts by the Federal Government, as the Proprietor of the institutions to ensure standard practices and financial propriety in the system.

The Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Dr. Mas’udu Kazaure disclosed this at the flagging-off ceremony of the 30th Quarterly Meeting of the Association of Bursars of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology (BURSCON), hosted by Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos.

He said compliance with the rules is mandatory and should be treated as such, stressing that the new rule is a continuation of reforms introduced into public accounting system by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, which captures e-payment system; integrated payroll and personnel information system, as well as government integrated/financial management information system and national chart of accounts.

Other areas covered by the rules are the adoption of international public sector accounting standards; treasury single account and zero based budgeting. Kazaure, who was represented by Dr. James Anyanwu said the reversed scheme of service would have been ready had institutions contributed the dues expected of them for the exercise, warning that defaulting institutions should pay up without delay.

In his keynote address, the former Bursar of YABATECH, Mr. Joseph Akeju, advised bursars to be ethical in practice and loyal to their principals, who are the accounting officers of the institution. He said incidence of “no fund” which is common with bursars would only make them unpopular among their peers, even as he cautioned that they must exhibit good human relations in order to ensure their relevance in their environment.

The Rector of the hosting institution, Dr. Margaret Kudirat Ladipo, tasked on members of the association good professionalism and to be highly responsible, as required of senior public officer.

“A situation, in which a bursar comes to office with his own private agenda of financial gains at all cost, cannot augur well for the system. Bursars should advise their principals properly, and support them to achieve the mandates of their institutions,” she said.

In fact, the rector urged the association to show more commitment and determination in playing its role in ensuring prudent financial management in tertiary institutions across the nation.

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Education

UNILAG VC secures release of detained union leaders

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  • As varsity matriculates 9,204 students

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe has secured the release of the detained former Chairmen of the institution’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU), Comrades Joseph Adefolalu and Adekola Adetomiwa, who were on Thursday arrested by the police.

The VC, accompanied by the leadership of the university’s chapter of the non-academic staff unions, visited the office of the Department of State Security (DSS) along CMD Road, Shangisha, to bail the union leaders, who were on Thursday transferred to the office from the Ikeja Division of the State Criminal Investigation Department.

Earlier, addressing the protesting workers in front of the institution’s Governing Council Chamber, Ogundipe expressed regret that the national strike had been allowed to degenerate to the level it is on the campus, saying even against the dictate of his office, he had gone on air to declare support for the striking workers.

The workers, who had assembled in their hundreds on the campus to protest the arrest of their leaders, accused the university management of harassing them since December 4, 2017, when the national strike was declared.

But, the union members did not disrupt the ongoing matriculation ceremony of the new intakes, where a total of 9,204 fresh undergraduate and postgraduate students were successfully matriculated.

The management of the university had earlier met with the leadership of the unions including the Chairmen of the university’s chapters of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Comrade Sulaiman Lawal and Kehinde Ajibade, among others, to address the crisis.

The VC said; “Dialogue will always be the way out of every crisis because we would always have cause to interact again. There is no other university that has shown support to the striking unions better than UNILAG, yet we are the one that suffers more attack from you. I can assure you that once we leave here, we will go to the Police Station together and ensure that our workers are released.

“If anyone says I ordered the arrest, let me make it clear that I do not have such power but I must add that no one is above the law, including me. On this campus, 120 electrical fuses were removed from the powerhouse on Monday, January 8, and that does not speak well of the unions. We must always reach compromise on difficult issues. We have kept on appealing to the Federal Government to resolve this matter as soon as possible and I am sure very soon, it will be over.”

The meeting between the unions and the management was attended by the leadership of the Police in the area including the Area Commander.

The union leaders appreciated the university management for the middle ground reached and pledged their support in the efforts to reposition the university for good.

It would be recalled that both Adefolalu and Adekola had on Thursday morning at about 1.30am been arrested in their homes by the Police from the Ikeja Division of the State Criminal Investigation Department.

The unions had blamed the development on the ongoing national strike declared by the Joint Action Committee of the non-academic staff in the universities nationwide, alleging that the decision to arrest the leaders may be in anticipation of likely disruption of the matriculation ceremony, which held today (Friday).

 

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Strike: UNILAG postpones convocation indefinitely

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Following the refusal of the non-academic staff unions in the nation’s universities to call off their two-month-old industrial action, and the threats by the unions’ chapters at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka, to disrupt the planned 50th convocation ceremonies scheduled to hold between February 19 and 22, the institution’s management has postponed the ceremonies indefinitely.

In a statement issued by the university and signed by the Principal Assistant Registrar (Information), Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede, a new date would be announced for the ceremonies soon.

Though Oloyede did not give reasons for the abrupt postponement, New Telegraph learnt the striking workers comprising members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), had threatened to disrupt the convocation ceremonies over what they described as the neglect they suffer in the hands of government.

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Education

UNIBEN Recalls Five Rusticated Students

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The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Professor Faraday Orunmwense, has announced the recall of five rusticated students of the university.
 
He described as untrue the allegation that the Chancellor of the University of Benin, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, Sarkin Kano, was behind the increase in the university accommodation fees
.
 
Prof. Orumwense said that none of the students were rusticated for protesting against increase in the University accommodation charges,  instead some of them were rusticated, after due process was observed, for attempting to disrupt the University’s 47th Founder’s Day and 43rd Convocation ceremonies.
 
He said after the increment, the students were too hasty in protesting the increment without exhausting the appropriate mechanism of the University for addressing students’ concerns.
 
According to Orumwense, “It is difficult to understand why the Students’ Union would call a protest within 24 hours of receiving the assurances of the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council, who, upon receiving the students’ protest letter, assured them that he would speedily look into the matter of slight increase in charges and review of accommodation charges which at any rate is optional”.
 
He said, “Management holds the views of students’ representatives in very high esteem and have always shown willingness to dialogue with our esteemed students. Nevertheless, Management would not tolerate a situation where a few individuals would deploy the Students’ Union engagement mechanisms for the furtherance of illegitimate purposes¨.
However, Prof Orumwense, who described the students as ¨our children¨, said management has decided to pardon them after several pleadings from members of the public.”
 
“Having considered the appeal (in writing) by the rusticated students, the Students’ Unions; and the intervention of well meaning stakeholders, Management has decided to recall the rusticated students back to campus to face their studies.
 
“And to be absolutely clear, the claim that the Chancellor of the University of Benin, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, (CON) Sarkin Kano is responsible for, or involved in any way in, determining the new charges, is completely untrue. For the avoidance of doubt, the Governing Council of a University, headed by a Pro-Chancellor, is solely responsible for the financial operation of a University and not the Chancellor.”
 
“We wish to use this medium to advise well-meaning stakeholders to disregard this baseless and uninformed assertion, which was designed to embarrass our well-respected Chancellor, His Highness, Muhammad Sanusi II, (CON) Sarkin Kano during the 47th Founder’s Day and 43rd Convocation Ceremonies¨ he said.

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