Governing Council Chairman opens up on UNILAG management crisis

The pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Wale Babalakin, says the Governing Council suspected that the university management was cutting corners with the manner it executed projects in the university.

The pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Wale Babalakin, has revealed the reasons behind the crisis brewing at the university.

He opened up in a letter to the House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement.

The letter was a response to an invitation by the committee following a petition it received alleging that Mr Babalakin violated the Public Procurement Act 2007 by desiring to chair the tenders board of the University.

The petition had alleged that the Mr Babalakin-led Governing Council’s investigation of past and current management and governing council of the University for alleged breaches, including the violation of the nation’s procurement act, was driven by the pro-chancellor’s desire to chair the university’s tenders board.

The council is involved in a running disagreement with the University management and the leadership of the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The crisis followed the council’s decision to probe the university’s finances, the collapse of an uncompleted library and other alleged improprieties of the university’s vice-chancellor, Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, his predecessor and other top officials of the institution.

Mr Babalakin, however, denied acting outside the mandate of the Governing Council. He told newsmen that the actions of the council were legal.

Describing the allegation as “completely untrue and fabrication of lies” he said it should not have occurred in a university environment.

He explained why the university’s council decided to investigate the finances of the university.

Mr Babalakin added that the council suspected that the university management was cutting corners with the manner it executed projects in the university.

He said the council, therefore, set up a committee to investigate the suspected sharp practices of the management.

He added that the council appointed Olutola Senbore, a former chairman of First City Monument Bank, to assist the committee with the investigation.

He explained that despite the committee’s recommendation, he declined to chair the Tenders Board.

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