By Preacher Man

From time immemorial, administrative budget has always cause disaffection between the legislative council saddled with the responsibility of scrutinizing budget and the executive council which is the body responsible for its implementation. From halls of residence, through the faculty to various departments, this has always been so. Many things happen in the dark, away from the students. If members of the two organs are comrades-in-arm, the process would be smooth. Otherwise, many untold things would happen and all those involved would mar themselves in one problem or another.

Issues surrounding the budgetary allocation of the Executive Council are some of the things many Afasites do not often follow but which have serious implications for the association. Very few among us are interested in the way money is approved by the Faculty Legislative Council for the Executive Council and how such fund are being spent. This is a very serious problem for the association. The purpose of this piece is not to bore you with moonlight tales but rather to open your eyes to see how money from the association’s coffer is being spent.

As at September 1, 2019 N941, 329 have been approved for the executive council. This money covers part of the annual administrative budget of the executive council, excluding some pre-budget expenses and projects in the executive office. So far out of the N941, 329 that have hitherto been approved, N313, 550 was for Freshers Welcome out of the proposed N457, 500 by the executive council; N147, 323 was approved for the inter-faculty competition out of the proposed N190, 200 proposed by the Director of Sports, Daniel Sikuade; N121, 726 was approved for AFAS and I out of the N190, 550 proposed by the executive council; N60, 280 was approved for AFAS Super 4 Competition as proposed by the Director of Sports; and N150, 000 was approved for the production of 500 AFAS ID cards at N300 each.

In the three-part annual administrative budget of the executive council dated July 31, 2019, N31, 100 was approved for office of the president. This excludes his pre-budget expenses of N7, 000. The N31, 100 includes N15, 000 for transport and N8, 000 for airtime. With no regard to the pre-budget expenses of other members of the executive council, here are the amount approved by the FLC for holders of those offices; Vice President – N17, 100 (this include N12, 000 for transport and N5, 000 for airtime); Genera Secretary and Assistant General Secretary – N31, 650 (this include N10, 000 for printing and photocopy, N2, 000 for transport and N5, 000 for airtime); Financial Secretary – N5, 200 (this include N2, 000 for transport and N2, 500 for airtime); Director of Information – N13, 000 (this include N8, 000, and N2, 000 for airtime); Director of Social and Welfare Services – N50, 500 (this include N5, 000 for transport and N5, 000 for transport). The budget for office of the Director of Sports has not yet been approved and could not be mentioned as part of this.

As it is now, N30, 500 have been approved as airtime and N31, 000 as transport fare for seven members of the executive council. Yet, this is not the greatest scam in this session’s administrative budget. Out of the N460, 110 proposed by the executive council in the three-part budget, N110, 060 is pre-budget expenses. This period that this money was spent was from the beginning of the semester till early-August. Out of the N101, 060 in the pre-budget expenses, N14, 000 was spent on the production of AFAS receipt and N23, 000 was spent on the printing of letterhead papers. The number of both receipt and letterhead were not stated. Also, the president spent N4, 000 on transport and N3, 000 on airtime. This could not be proven in anyway as there are no evidence to support the two expenses. Besides, the amount spent on transport could not be a round figure, and neither could it be ascertained that all the N3, 000 was truly expended on association matters.

In the pre-budget expenses of the vice-president, N8, 000 was spent on two trips to Lagos. According to her, she visited some places in Lagos Island. Besides this, she spent N3, 000 on airtime. Like the president, no one could tell if the money was spent solely in relation to the association’s business. With an additional N3, 000 approved as airtime for the vice president, it means she would spend N8, 000 on airtime this session. Yet, there is no mechanism to trace the calls she would make with the money to see if personal calls would not be mixed with official ones.

The pre-budget of the General Secretary and the Assistant General Secretary raises more eyebrows. Before the budget was presented to the FLC, N4, 600 had being spent on printing, scanning, photocopying and transport. Although this seems plausible, other expenses are not. They said they spent N160 on the AFAS ID card budget which is a one-page document. Perhaps they forgot to say the amount also includes photocopying it. For nowhere on campus or outside it is a one-page document printed N160. Yet, this pale in significance to the scam involved in saying they had spent N4, 200 on printing and photocopying budget. Although the budgets involved are not specified, administrative budget would no doubt be the chief of them. The original copy of each type of budget is always coloured. For the type of coloured printing that is involved in the student level, the printing would not be more than N50 per page. If this is so, then they would have spent N200 on the four-page administrative budget. If the N4, 600 also included the amount spent on printing the original copies of the first administrative budget dated 30th June, 2019 it would mean N400 was spent on printing original copies of both the old and edited copies of this session’s administrative budget. If they make thirty photocopies on both occasions as instructed by the FLC, it would mean they spent N600 to N700 on this. For photocopying is done at N5 per page in all the shops around the faculty they could have turned to.

If by sheer magnanimity printing and photocopying of copies of other budgets that have been passed by the FLC are included i.e. Freshers Welcome (2 pages), AFAS and I (1 page), AFAS ID Card (1 page), AFAS Super 4 Competition 1 page) and inter-faculty competition budget (1 page), it would by no means add up to N4, 600. Except we take this to be a typographical error, this is purely an act of fraud.

Far more disturbing is the last part of the administrative budget titled projects in the office. Every expense in this section is not approved by the FLC beforehand. According to the Daniel Anagwaonye-led executive council, N110, 950 was spent on projects in the executive office before the administrative was formally presented. A month earlier on the 30th of June, 2019 the executive council submitted a budget that has N49, 250 as the total amount of money spent on projects in the executive office. This means between June 30th and July 30th this year, the executive council spent N61, 700 on projects in the executive office. Although the FLC had declared the copies of the budget dated June 30th missing from their cabinet in a controversial manner save for the original copy that was with the Speaker, Rt. Honourable Peter Olagunju, a copy was kept by AFAS Press. By the time the differences in the two sums are taken into cognizance, the FLC’s claim of having their cabinet burgled leading to the disappearance of the photocopied copies of the budget would seem plausible.

In the budget dated 30th June, 2019, N3, 000 was spent on electrical fittings in the executive office (N1, 000 for bulb and N2, 000 for workmanship). Two chairs were bought at N14, 000, table tennis repair was done at N5, 000 and a rechargeable fan was bought at N24, 450.

In the budget dated 30th July, 2019, N3, 000 is still the amount spent on electrical fitting in the executive office. But the numbers of chairs had increased to 4 and were purchased at N32, 000. Note an additional N18, 000 for the purchase of two new chairs to the initial N14, 000 for two chairs. Logically, it is either a chair now costs N8, 000 or the two chairs in the 30th June, 2019 cost N7, 000 each and the additional two chairs in the 30th July, 2019 cost N9, 000 each. Also, a 3-in-seater was also purchased at N26, 500 while the N24, 450 for the purchase of a rechargeable fan remained the same.

When this current administrative budget is compared with the one brought before the Rt. Honourable John Izuchukwu-led FLC last session, the ineptitude of this current FLC on budgetary matters is clearly evident. For example, N8, 100 was what approved for Isaac Lijadu last session compared to this session’s N31, 100. The N8, 100 approved in the former house included N3, 000 for airtime and N5, 000 for transport respectively. This is comparably low to the N8, 000 and N15, 000 respectively that the Rt. Honourable Peter Olagunju-led FLC approved for the same purpose.

Last session too, only N4, 600 was approved for the office of the vice president. Her transport was pegged at N1, 500 and her airtime pegged at N3, 000. Again, this is nothing compared to the N17, 100 that was approved for the current vice president. If her pre-budget expense of N13, 900 that was approved by the FLC is added to this N17, 100, her total budget goes up to N31, 000.

For office of the General Secretary last session, a mouse pad, an extension box, and a computer keyboard were approved for purchase. Also, a 4-gig flash drive was also approved for purchase. These are items that are durable and would have been expected to be missing from this session’s administrative budget. Unfortunately, they are approved for purchase again. Why they appear again could only be either of these two reasons – either we agree the ones that were bought last session have totally gone bad and could not be used again hence the need to change them, or that the immediate past General Secretary, Selim Tijani, left with them. More questions need to be asked in this regard so the association wouldn’t always buy the same things every year when they could easily have been handed over. And while N2, 730 was approved for the office of the General Secretary last session, N31, 650 was approved this session. This N31, 650 is different from the pre-budget expense of N12, 650.

Apart from these three offices, the amount approved by the last house for the remaining executive offices is not very different from the amount approved by the current house. But one thing is clear – the executive council of last session was frugal in its pre-budget expenses and projects in the executive office.

Why the current executive council seems to be enjoying the goodwill of the FLC is because the latter has made two great errors this semester and need a way to save its face unless it would be termed as a house of villains. The FLC has clearly learnt how to make war and how to make peace with the executive council. To approve a total sum of N941, 329 for the executive council at this time of the session is worrisome. Because the FLC has now lost its power to scrutinize properly because of the faults of the honourable members, the executive council is leveraging on that to have a field day on AFAS resources.

As at today, statement of account of the association has not been released. Apart from the leadership of the FLC and members of the executive council that probably know the amount of money in the association’s coffer, other members of the association don’t. When mind-boggling amounts are now being approved for mundane things because the FLC are afraid of appearing bad, we could only pray the association doesn’t go bankrupt in the coming days.

With all the money that have been approved for the executive council and the controversy surrounding them, let no one say THE LOVE OF AFAS IS SIMPLE. This administration could be the most financial reckless we have had in the association in recent times due to a pusillanimous FLC. But both FLC and the executive council should be reminded that prosperity would judge all of us and current members of the FLC would be asked questions about keeping mute against that which is not right because of being bad-mouthed. The executive council should know it takes exceptional courage and discipline to be frugal when one’s house is full of money. There’s need to safe for the rainy days. They should stop exploiting the vulnerability of the FLC to milk the association dry.

May God bless the Association of Faculty of Arts Students now and ever. Shalom!



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