The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has called on the Federal Government to fight corruption in public institutions by ensuring that the cost of contracts will not be more than its actual value.
Olanipekun made the call during the opening of 10 projects executed by the institution at the cost of N45.6m.
Also speaking at the event, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Dapo Asaju, said the projects were carried out through direct labour, which significantly lowered the cost.
Olanipekun said government could learn a lot from the way ACU executed its projects, adding that corruption would be reduced to the minimum if government paid attention to how projects were awarded in its universities and other institutions.
He said, “We’ve been able to complete 10 projects within a short time. Please, let us tell people in our country that this is the way to fight corruption. This is the way to manage resources. As a lawyer, I have been saying that fighting corruption is not about calling names. Maybe government should arrest and take people to court. It should begin to curb corruption at the very root. Uproot it.
“We want to challenge state governors in the country to send people to ACU and learn how we manage resources. Let them send auditors, architects, quantity surveyors, engineers and structural engineers. Let them compare and contrast what we spend on our projects with what they spend in other public institutions, including government institutions.
“This is our own humble way of telling the government that we have our own way of fighting corruption. We have our own way of instilling discipline into the financial sector of this country. How I wish government took a cue from this. How I wish the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission would come here, not to arrest, harass our management team but to learn from us.
“How I wish I was a pro-chancellor of this university before I was a pro-chancellor of the University of Ibadan, I would have learnt so much; I would have been more equipped.”
Olanipekun also urged the government to introduce a policy in its budget that would restrain anyone from inflating contracts in the schools.
“For a block of 10 classrooms, we spent N9.5m. For the shopping complex, we have spent 9.3m and to build the Faculty of Education, we spent N56m. The water factory cost N7.7m, while the indoor sports complex, which will be completed in the next one month, cost N3.1m.
“Now charge them in your budget that a building should not cost anything more than certain amount. Charge them that anybody who says no should go to ACU and learn how they do it,” he added.