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The former Pro-Chancellor and chairman, Governing Council of University of Lagos, Wale Babalakin has revealed that all members of the Management of the University had second class lower in their first degree.
Babalakin who spoke on Arise TV on Wednesday on its “Morning Show” lamented that the university has become a fall background.
He noted that the people who could not become graduate assistants in the past with second class lower degree are now at the helm of affairs in the UNILAG.
He said, “Ogundipe is just a symptom; when I got into the university the first time, I look round and I said wow, everybody in the management has a second class lower in the first degree.
“And I said how, when did this place become a fall background. When I was in the University of Lagos, if you didn’t make a second class upper, you couldn’t even come near trying to be a graduate assistant. Everybody came out with a 2.2.
“When you look round the hall and everybody came out with a second class lower, it tells you the level of people applying to the university.
“Why is it like that? It is like that because today, universities have simply become another Federal Government parastatal where so many things just happened there. The position of Vice Chancellor now has become a coveted position because it does a lot of advantage on you.
“The professors are earning about N450, 000, but if you are a friend of the Vice-Chancellor, you can be made a director, you get a car, you can travel regularly and get allowances.
“So, it is everybody’s interest in the university to kowtow to the Vice-Chancellor.”
The former Pro-Chancellor however said that corruption is endemic in the UNILAG.
Babalakin alleged that there is a coordinated process of corrupt practices among the management and staff of UNILAG.
He insisted that the corrupt practices in the institution did not start from the administration of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.
The former Pro-Chancellor noted that the corruption in UNILAG could not be unveiled by any visitation panel.
He added, “my word for UNILAG is that corruption did not start under Ogundipe, it has actually been endemic and it cannot be unveiled by any visitation panel no matter how strong.
“I am happy that the visitation recommended that an international accounting firm should come and look at the affairs of the university.”
Babalakin also alleged the management of diverting personal donations for the purchase of law reports to a non-university account.
He explained,” I was the first Pro-Chancellor, I was told to visit all the faculties and I went to the law faculty and I asked for the law report; no current law report.
“I was so moved and I said okay, this is N500,000 in a month for you to buy law reports. I assumed they were being bought, untill a professor came to me 20 months down the line and said I heard you donated money for books, but we were not seeing the books. I said it is not possible.
“All the money I paid for the books was diverted into a non university account, staff welfare account or that, instead of going to the university account and spent at will.
“In the Law faculty, we found students hanging on window sit to listen to lecture. We gave money and we prepared the auditorium, now imagine the alarm when we started looking at the account and we discovered that the university has simply misled us. The university wasn’t short of funds, it was simply being diverted.”
Babalakin however recommended that government should allow international accounting firm look into the affairs of the institution.
Babalakin also noted there is need for a judicial panel to look into the finances of all universities across Nigeria.
He further said,”I will not stop at that, I will say a judicial panel with a judge knowledgeable in finance should look at all universities and it will be discovered that as the federal government is just pumping money into these universities without getting commensurate return.”
Speaking on the crisis at UNILAG, Babalakin said the issue he had with the management at the University was because he refused to be “one of the boys”.
He said the management became threatened because of his position in redefining the institution.
He added, “that was an alarm to the system because no PRO-Chancellor has taken that position in the University of Lagos. And my reason of taking that position was simple, the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari struggled to find money for the universities and this monies never get used for their purpose.
“Somewhere along the line, the money is not spent appropriately. In UNILAG as I later discovered, a substantial part of it was misappropriated.
“All the issues of University of Lagos came from only one issue that I refused to be one of the boys, that’s is all.”