A group, simply identified as the Concerned Stakeholders of the University of Lagos, has called on the management of the University of Lagos to respond to the allegations of corruption raised against the management of the institution, instead of tagging them as faceless.
The group, comprising old students, staff members, parents and students, had raised certain disturbing issues through publications in national dailies.
The group had alleged that the same contractor, Dutum, responsible for the construction of the collapsed university library building had resumed the site since Saturday, June 15, 2019. Among other allegations published was also an alleged financial misappropriation, as the group claimed that N112 million was spent on renovation of official quarters as against N50 million.
While reacting to the allegations, the UNILAG management had urged the public to dismiss the publications, saying they did not recognise any organisation, officially or unofficially, known as “Concerned Stakeholders.”
In a statement signed by its Principal Assistant Registrar (Communication), Mrs Taiwo Oloyede, the institution had said: “The attention of the university has been drawn to a publication in one of the national dailies of June 26, with the signatories to the publication claiming to be representatives of the entire interest groups of the university, with members cutting across staff, parents, guardians, alumni, pensioners and others.
“It should be clearly stated here that there is no group, formal or informal of this university that cut across the classes of persons mentioned in the publication
“We are compelled to make this clarification because of the concerns expressed by well-meaning Nigerians and progressive minds, through several calls, emails and text messages, since the publication broke out.”
According to the university, it is unlikely that members of the university community, as claimed by the said publication should still dwell on matters appropriately addressed by the university’s council, National Universities Commission, Federal Ministry of Education and Procurement Committee of the House of Representatives.
However, the spokesperson of the Concerned Stakeholders, Ayowole Akintayo, in a statement, insisted that the publications were duly signed with authentic and verifiable names, phone numbers and an e-mail address.
Akintayo stated, “To this, we offer that the ‘Concerned Stakeholders’ is ad-hoc arrangements by staffs and students of the University, who feel concerned by the grave situation in our Alma Mater.
“We are not faceless. We asked our spokespersons who are graduates of the institution to put their names and contacts in the publications.”
He said that it was better for the university council and management to address the issues raised and appropriate sanctions should be meted out to culprits or those found guilty of misdemeanours.
Akintayo stated, “There should be no room for impunity. An issue raised by a certain Mr Rasheed Ojikutu, in his write-up, is that the university’s good brand should be protected. He should appreciate the fact that the university management had earlier gone to the press to disseminate half-truths using the ASUU Chairman, UNILAG branch.
“The very aim of our intervention is to ensure that UNILAG is preserved from vandalism as a result of the perceived present gross mismanagement and refusal to cooperate with the statutorily instituted overseeing authorities of the university council and its officials.
“We, therefore, urge that the main issues of financial improprieties and mismanagement raised by the concerned stakeholders be addressed immediately by the council and management, instead of resulting to a smear campaign and cheap blackmail.”