By Christiana Ekpa
The Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Prof. Idris Bugaje on Friday called on public office holders in the country to give proper account of their stewardship to the people so as to avoid the punishment of not doing same in the hereafter.
The Rector who gave the advice at the investigative hearing of the House of Representatives committee on Public Accounts on Friday stated that his first line of action after assuming office in the institution was to sent fiscal balance sheets if the school for Audit.
He stated in a chat with journalists shortly after he was cleared by the House of Reps’ panel probing into alleged deliberate and reckless refusal of non-Treasury Funded and Partially Funded government MDAs from 2014 to 2018 in Abuja.
Asked what informed his productiveness in getting unaudited accounts of the institution straightened out, he said: “When came to Kaduna polytechnic, we came on a rescue mission, there were crisis, strikes, uncompleted sessions, loss of accreditations and we decided to do the right thing”.
“One of such is that we discovered that the accounts for about five years were not audited and so we engaged external auditors to do the complete audit of those years and we submitted in 2019.
“It is important we give proper account so that if there are issues, it can be easily corrected; it even helps management to manage the resources better. The auditors will tell you things that are not being done correctly and it gives the opportunity to correct, if you delay, you will not benefit from such opportunity. We have to put Kaduna poly on track and that is what we are doing now.
On how things turned after his management interventions, Prof. Bugaje said, “So far, things have stabilised, the polytechnic has spent two years now without strike, students population has increased from 17,000 to 27,000 and we are hoping to move to over 35,000 to become the largest higher institution in Nigeria”.
Asked if the institution has adequate infrastructure to cater for the population he’s aspiring to take in, he disclosed saying: “We are expanding and creating new departments from 48 to 63, new buildings and infrastructure are coming in, we are not waiting for the budget, we are going for extra budgetary interventions using different sources of revenue”.
“85 per cent of accreditations were lost during the crisis but now, we have recovered all, all our courses are 98 per cent accredited and only a few are partially accredited and we shall conclude it this year”, he said.
On what others in his position should learn from his conducts so far, he said: “My advice to all is that it is always good to give proper account here before the bigger account in the hereafter comes”.
“We should think of the bigger account because there is no way out of it, so the earlier you give proper account, the better.
“If there is any mistake, it can be corrected, we are all humans and can make mistakes and in subsequent account, you can improve so that this country will move to the next level”, Prof. Bugaje admonished.