By Abdulrahaman Taye, The Informant247
The 29th convocation of Kwara State Polytechnic in Ilorin in November 2023 marked the commissioning of projects funded by the institution’s internally generated revenue. Rector Engr. Abdul Jimoh Muhammed claimed financial distress during his speech, urging the government to take over staff salary payments.
However, this investigation by The Informant247’s Abdulrahaman Taiye revealed the institution’s substantial revenue surplus, contradicting the rector’s plea. The financial status of Kwara State Polytechnic appears to be more robust as evidenced by a significant over N1bn annual revenue surplus.
Also, claims of significant infrastructural development, such as the remodeling of an old library into a modern department and construction of walkways, scrutiny revealed shoddy work and incomplete projects, raising questions about transparency and accountability in the management of funds and resources.
In November 2023, the Kwara State Polytechnic in Ilorin held its 29th convocation for the 2022/2023 HND and ND graduates. The occasion also featured the commissioning of projects done with the institution’s internally generated revenue.
The rector, Engr. Abdul Jimoh Muhammed, disclosed while giving his speech that the institution is currently facing financial difficulties, begging the state government to take over the payment of its staff salaries.
He said, “Our plea is for the government to give us what I call a salary holiday for just six months. That is, taking over the payment of staff salaries for that period.”
However, investigations by The Informant247 revealed that the institution, which is one of the most sought-after in Nigeria, has been generating enough revenue to cover its expenses.
In 2021, the institution generated N3.37bn as its independent revenue, according to its financial statement seen by The Informant247.
A breakdown of this shows that N1.52bn was gotten from general fees, N152m from general sales, N1.6bn from general earnings, N2m from rentals, and N5m from interest earned.
“You know, we have a large number of students. So our internally generated revenue is even higher than that of any other institution across the state. If you check our financial statement, you’ll see we made around N120 million from just the sales of ID cards in 2021. Over N870 million from collections of different certificates. That is higher than what some other institutions generate in total,” said a polytechnic official who pleaded not to be named because of the sensitivity of the report.
Meanwhile, the institution spent the total sum of N2.3bn in expenditures in 2021. For the personnel costs, which included salaries and allowances, the institution spent N1.5bn. N766 million was expended on other recurrent costs, which included transports, utilities, materials and supplies, maintenance services, training, consultancy, fuel, and lubricants, among others.
This left the institution with over N1.06 billion in excess for the year under review.
For the year 2022, further findings by The Informant247 revealed that, as of September of the year, the institution had generated N2.73bn in independent revenue. Also, a breakdown of this shows that N1.4bn was gotten from general fees, N30m from general sales, N1.2bn from general earnings, N1.8m from rentals, and N1.3m from interest earned.
The institution had, meanwhile, spent the total sum of N1.92bn in expenditures as of September 2022. For the personnel costs, which included salaries and allowances, the institution spent N1.19bn. N728 million was expended on other recurrent costs, which included transports, utilities, materials and supplies, maintenance services, training, consultancy, fuel, and lubricants, among others.
N806 million was the total amount recorded in excess as of September 2022.
“The leftover revenue is what the institution used for infrastructural projects on campus, aside from what we get from TetFund,” said the polytechnic official.
In 2023, Kwara State Polytechnic projected a revenue of N4.08 billion, while maintaining average annual expenditures of N2 billion. This financial snapshot illustrates the institution’s significant fiscal strength, providing a clear indication of its capacity to cover staff salaries and undertake various projects. These figures directly challenge the narrative propagated by the rector, which suggests financial strain, thus raising questions about transparency and accountability in the institution’s leadership.
We Built A Modern Facility Department With Our IGR: Rector
Reeling out his achievements during the convocation ceremony in November 2023, the Rector mentioned the renovation of the old library, the IOT building, and the construction of the walkway inside the campus, among others.
For the remodeling of the old library to the new Department of Library and Information Science, the Rector said, “You will all recall that in my convocation speech last year, I mentioned that the management introduced some new courses aimed at maintaining a Science/Art ratio of 70:30 in favor of science courses as approved by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
“Therefore, to ensure the effective take-off of the new course, structures, and necessary facilities must be adequately put in place.
“This led to the remodeling and renovation of an abandoned old library. Modern facilities were also put in place to give room for conducive teaching and learning.”
He added, “With the complete renovation of the structure, the department now has 10 offices, a 150-capacity lecture room, a departmental training library for practicals, a computer resource room for students, a 5KV inverter, office furniture, a generating set, toilet facilities, and space for a 250-capacity CBT Centre to be furnished to JAMB standard.”
Remodeling Shabbily Done
Despite the elaborate descriptions provided in the press briefing, the “remodeled” building appears to be nothing more than a superficial facelift hastily covered in a fresh coat of paint and lacked the comprehensive facilities mentioned in the official statement of the rector, The Informant247 had earlier reported in a first part publication.
The old broken windows and neglected surroundings, littered with bushes and human waste, further added to the disillusionment felt by the students.
A staff member who preferred to remain anonymous said, “The reality doesn’t match what was announced. I’m not sure where the funds went, but they certainly didn’t go into the comprehensive renovation they claimed.”
The feeling is the same among those within the institution, The Informant247 learned.
The official description of the project included 10 offices, a 150-capacity lecture room, a departmental training library, a computer resource room, a 5KV inverter, office furniture, a generator set, and toilets.
The Informant247, however, observed that the building lacks the modern facilities mentioned in the Rector’s statement.
The 150-capacity lecture room is filled with furniture with Tetfund inscriptions on it.
The Informant247 observed that the state of the toilet facilities within the remodeled structure was far from satisfactory. The toilets, touted as part of the modernized renovation, were clearly untouched.
Also, as part of his landmark projects, which he disclosed were meant to add to the beauty of the ‘premier institution’, the rector said it has constructed walkways and planted ornamental flowers to give the institution a facelift.
However, The Informant247 findings showed that the project was only half done at the time of commissioning.
It was observed that the constructed walkway only covered a few distances. Specifically, from the roundabout to the front of the administration block. The remaining larger sections were left open and covered with lateral sand.
“This project is not completed and shouldn’t even be up for mention. This is just a few meters long. It is even more shameful that the governor, represented by his Chief of Staff, Prince Abdulkadir Aliyu Mahe, will come to commission some of these things,” said a student who only identified himself as Yusuf.
Efforts spanning three weeks to contact the Rector or any of the school officials proved abortive.
When the institution’s spokesperson was contacted via phone call, she promised to get back to The Informant247 the following day. However, she failed to do so and subsequently declined to answer calls.
Additionally, the Rector did not respond to several calls or text messages sent to him.
This report was published with the support from Civic Media lab