IGANGA- The Inspector General of Government (IGG) has ordered Busoga University to refund Shs50.5 million the institution received as a presidential pledge seven years ago, further escalating financial problems at the Iganga-based facility that was closed by government recently.
In 2011, President Museveni separately pledged Shs1.2 billion to the university and another Shs151m for Makutu Seed School.
However, Deputy IGG Mariam Wangadya, in a letter dated September 17, 2018, to the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Lameka Kibikyo, said the money meant for Makutu Seed Secondary School was erroneously deposited to the university account in 2014.
Ms Wangadya said whereas the university leadership was later reminded of the error, it refunded only Shs100.5m to the school and has since failed to refund the remaining amount.
According to the IGG, the money must be refunded to the Iganga District Account for Onward Transfer to Makutu Seed Secondary School.
The university has been in financial problems for some time now and Prof Kibikyo had earlier told the IGG that “he was unable to remit all the money to Makutu Seed School due to woes the University has been having since 2016.”.
“The delays in refunding the money to Makutu Seed School is due to the problems that the University has been having since 2016, including strikes, notice to revoke its license and revocation of license; but the money will be paid in installments,’’ Prof Kibikyo is quoted as saying.
The IGG, however, notes that: “The problems had no effect on the transfer of this money to Makutu Seed School because it (money) was received in 2014 – two years before the occurrence of the said problems and therefore there was no excuse for failing to remit it.”
“It is noted that your explanation is not satisfactory since the problems occurred two years after receiving them. You are therefore directed to refund this money with immediate effect,’’ the IGG letter reads in part.
The university was closed by NCHE in December last year after it was discovered it had awarded degrees to more than 1,000 students, the majority of whom were from South Sudan after a two-month study in 2016.
Later, President Museveni announced that the government would take over the institution and named a committee to oversee the process.
The takeover has not yet taken place and NCHE says the university remains closed