How Billion Was Looted In Taraba Polytechnic
• Report Indicts Ex Rector, Ex Bursar Hon. David Fuoh
Taraba Truth and Facts Exclusive
A visitation panel to Taraba State Polytechnic , Suntai set up by Governor Darius Ishaku seems to have uncovered what can be best described as a daylight looting of almost a billion of naira meant for the development of the polytechnic between 2015 and 2019.
The Panel in its report which was exclusively obtained by Taraba Truth and Fact Newspaper showed details of how management led by a former Rector of the institution Mr. Daniel Mom and a former Bursar of the Polytechnic Hon. David Fuoh now a federal lawmaker paid contractors for projects that were never executed; diverted funds were into personal accounts; shortchanged staff of the institution, embezzled students school fees among other gross financial misappropriations.
Hon David Fuoh now represents Saruduna, Kurumi Gashaka Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives.
According to the report the school funds are being managed by the Polytechnic management under the leadership of the Rector as Chief Accounting Officer and the Bursar as Chief Financial Adviser of the institution.
However, the Panel was appalled to find out that several instances of misapplication of funds and financial mismanagement and recklessness involving the two key principal officers during their days at the polytechnic.
Another officers of the Polytechnic indicted in the report is the present Director of Works and TETFUND Desk Officer Mr Samuel Ramat Ishaya.
Chairman of the Visitation Panel committee Prof. Nicholas Namessan, while presenting the committee’s report to governor Ishaku in government house Jalingo lamented that Taraba State Polytechnic, Suntai lost an opportunity to be a model of a higher institution in Nigeria, given its modest size and steady inflow of funds through the TETFUND interventions to develop a well-planned institution due to gross financial abuse and mismanagement of funds by the school management between 2015 and 2019.
The report which was exclusively obtained by Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper shows how over 700 million were misappropriated in the school in five years, with the Panel recommending that the state government should recover them from those indicted and prosecute them.
The report said the polytechnic internally generated the sum of 407 Million in five years also received direct funding from the state government and special grants from Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFUND for staff development and execution of capital projects in the school.
According to the report, over 30 Million naira payment for staff claims of various services were unaccounted as no document was provided to prove the payments were incurred in the best interest of the polytechnic.
The report also uncovered the sum of 22 Million was released to a company, Capital Express Assurance Ltd. In November 2013 without proper adherence to the provisions of public procurement Act, noting that no evidence was found for the provision of the service paid for which further reinforced that the contract was a mere conduit to steal funds from the polytechnic.
Also, more than 82 million were indiscriminately transferred to personal accounts of staff of the polytechnic in a bid to circumvent government policies placing restriction on amount of money that could be withdrawal in a single day.
The report added that over 50 Million withdrawn from the school TETFUND account could not be accounted for, while over 73 Million purportedly meant for procurement of goods and consultancy services were diverted by management staff of the institution during the years.
“While some payments were found to be duplication of payments already made, some were mere payments for either goods not supplied or service not rendered.
The panel also uncovered that out of over 346 Million approved and released by TETFUND for the training of academic staff only 311 Million was paid to beneficiating staff of the school, leaving about 34 million being siphoned.
Also, out of the sum 129 Million approved and released by TETFUND for sponsorship of 25 nonacademic staff of the polytechnic for Research Projects and Manuscripts Publication development only 120 Million got to the beneficiaries with about 9 Million going into private pockets of management staff of the institution.
The school management also awarded a contract for printing of security and non-security documents to Printing Trend International and Jossy Vakude Global Concept at the sum of 19,687,000 and 13,997,000 respectively , however the report said available documents at its disposal could not substantiated that the contracts were executed as there was no evidence of execution and delivery of such items to the polytechnic.
About 22 Million naira tax deducted as Value Added Tax VAT and Withholding Tax WHT in the five years were not remitted to relevant tax authorities and could not be accounted for according to the report.
Also the panel discovered that fees from students of the Polytechnic at Suntai campus were deliberately collected on cash basis to create loopholes through which revenue could not be fully accounted into coffers of the Polytechnic.
“Why this unaccepted practice is allowed in the Polytechnic can only mean consent from management to allow persistence of control weaknesses despite of the presence of online payment portal provided by a software developer at a very high cost to the Polytechnic. School fees were collected by cash and embezzled at the polytechnic.”
However the state government is yet to implement the recommendations of the visitation panel submitted October last year but recently appointed a governing council for the institution.