A report was presented by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Wednesday 12th July 2023 of the systems and processes review for the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) at the Great Hall of the Goderich campus.
Director of the ACC Prevention Department, Rashid Turay, in his overview of the report, revealed that the ACC conducted several reviews of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) with recommendations to improve service delivery. He recalled that early this year they held a meeting with the administration of MMTU further affirming that they did a comprehensive review of the institution.
He intimated how they received reports of corruption from individuals but clarified that no acts of corruption were discovered at MMTC but rather risks that could lead to corrupt practices also proffering recommendations as he revealed that the ceremony is to develop the implementation matrix as well as assign responsible persons to implement the recommendations adding that the ACC would visit the MMTU after three months to check the process/progress of implementation.
Rashid Turay warned against non-compliance saying it is punishable by law further reiterating that the administration must take the recommendations and implementation very seriously as he also assured that the ACC would continue its engagements with MMTU.
In his Power Point presentation, Samuel Marah Esq, ACC Deputy Director of the Prevention Department clarified that the ACC is not at MMTU to investigate corruption, recalling that they received reports of alleged corruption from some lecturers and members of the public that prompted their action. He said they conducted a holistic review of the systems and processes at MMTU including finance, procurement, estate management etc. etc. and commended the administration for its cooperation.
According to Samuel Marah Esq, the administration did not take stock when transitioning from a polytechnic to a university, that proper boards and committees are yet to be setup as required by the University Act, that there is no organogram, strategic plan to expedite development and operations, no academic plan, annual plan, annual reports and audited financial statements among others all of which he underscored undermines performance and accountability.
On the allegations of illegal dismissals, nepotism and tribalism, deduction of Le3 million from the salary of staff for ICT training at Blue Crest College, sexual harassment, refund for use of students’ hostels, misappropriation of funds from the Skills Development Project funded by the World Bank, non-payment of end of service benefits, the ACC report vindicated the administration but recommended that the policy on sexual harassment be reviewed, that proper records of matters investigated by the administration be kept as well as records of minutes of important meetings and ensure that all outstanding payments are made to retired and dismissed staff.
Other issues highlighted in the report included the qualifications for Deans and Heads of Departments, donations to the institution for which the ACC recommended that a donation register be provided, lease and use of college lands, procurement and use of vehicles and office furniture and that there is no policy on sources of revenue citing the non-payment of revenue to the institution by GSM companies as well as a policy to maximize it.
The Deputy Director of the Prevention Department furthered that the Brookfields campus of the university must put modalities in place to generate income, reiterating that lapses are not corruption also disclosing that progress has been made to put structures in place to minimize corruption further reiterating that MDAs must within three months implement the recommendations on receipt of the report or complaint of challenges/non-compliance to the ACC within seven days of receipt of the report.
Chancellor of MMTU, Dr. Victor Kabia, who received the report on behalf of the institution, stated how he wholeheartedly accepts it and promised that they would do their best to study and take action , further affirming that they are interested in accountability and transparency with the expectation that peace and stability would now prevail at MMTU to move the institution forward.
The MMTU Public Relations Officer, Elizabeth Sesay, who rendered the vote of thanks, underscored that the report would now allay the fear of the public about the numerous and erroneous allegations that have been made against the administration.
The Chief Technical Education Officer in the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, Dr. Josephus Brima chaired the well-attended event while the ACC Head of Monitoring Unit, Ibrahim Kamara-Kay, catalogued the findings and recommendations of the report.