Oluwole Oke, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement,has urged the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, not to allow anyone to usurp his powers.
The Chairman gave the advice at the end of a two-day visit, alongside other members of the eight-man committee, to the university.
According to Oke, the visit, which was part of the committee’s oversight functions, became necessary in the light of the recent crisis between the management of the university and the Pro Chancellor, Dr. Wale Babalakin.
It is recalled that Dr. Babalakin had earlier instructed the Registrar of the institution, Oladejo Azeez, to issue queries bordering on financial improprieties, travelling without permission and other issues, to principal officers of the university, including the immediate past VC, Prof. Rahamon Bello and the current VC, Prof. Ogundipe.
“The fact remains that we are here, pursuant of the resolution of the house mandating us to investigate the alleged infractions of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act of 2007 and other financial issues.
“Although the regulators, the National Universities Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education have taken steps to resolve the issue, we took the allegations of the Pro Chancellor, Wale Babalakin as weighty and felt that we had to investigate his claims,” Oke stated.
He, however, advised Ogundipe as the accounting officer of the university to take charge of his duties. “Be in control of your duties. Do not allow anyone to usurp your powers. I am saying this so that you know your responsibilities. It is your duty to chair or nominate someone to represent you on the board of the Procurement Planning Committee and the functions of the committee are very clear under Section 16. The only job of the council members is to receive reports from you.”