University of Ibadan says couldn’t submit audit report because auditor ‘went blind’

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The University of Ibadan has said it could not submit its audit report to the Auditor-General of the Federation since 2014 because the external auditor engaged to prepare the report became blind while on the job.

The bursar of the university, Michael Alatise, said this on Thursday in Abuja when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts.

But after the committee also found that the university paid the“blind external auditor” full retainership last year, it ordered a full investigation into the finances of the university.

Speaking on the discovery, Oluwole Oke, chairman of the committee, chided the university’s representative. “That somebody went blind does not mean that the firm will go into extinction. It can’t,” Mr Oke said.

“And, sincerely speaking, it is not palatable that from 2014 to date, the University of Ibadan does not have an account with the Auditor-General. No, you won’t get money in the next budgetary allocation.”

In defence, Mr Alatise said the tenure of the auditor in question expired in 2010. He said a new external auditor who the school employed had it rough “because there were some static figures that needed to be cleared” by the former auditor.

“Actually, they (UI) are on their last account, which is 2015. We are about to engage another audit firm next week, the 13th of this month.”

While ordering an investigation into the university’s finances, Mr Oke said in matters of auditing, the University of Ibadan ought to be dealing with an auditing firm and not an individual.

“If you have an audited account signed and ratified in place, why did you need a blind man to take over from there? Besides, you are not dealing with him as a person, you are dealing with a firm. So, he has a partner, he has workers,” Mr Oke said.

“And for UI to engage such a firm. Let us conduct a KYC (know your customer). Let us know who the firm is. Let us investigate the firm. Let us know the partners and workers in that firm.”

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