The Public Account Committee in the well of Parliament on Monday 29 January 2024 met with the administration of the Milton Margai Technical University during a probing session in Committee Room 1 on issues raised in the 2022 audit report.

Interpreting the view of the Audit Service Sierra Leone about the institution after the audit report, the committee made clear that it was an “Unqualified Opinion” which means the record of the Milton Margai Technical University is Clean.

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the institution Prof. Philip John Kanu succinctly addressed issues raised in the audit report.

The committee highlighted the issues raised by the audit Sierra Leone, especially the delay in payment of the PAYE withholding Tax of NLe 2,545,588 by the Milton Margai Technical University to the National Revenue Authority.

In his apt response, the Vice Chancellor and Principal made known to the committee and the public that, the money was inherited from the previous administration with a total of around Le19 billion that include NASSIT, Ex-Gratia to retired staff, backlog salaries for over three months, PAYE and Withholding taxes which the institution had paid remaining the current amount, he furthered that, the institution has been struggling of late financially, adding that they are in talks with the government to do a cross settlement from the Grant-In-Aid outstanding the government owed the institution.
It could be remembered that the current Vice Chancellor and Principal was sacked in 2011 for asking the then Administration at that time to provide reason for not paying his NASSIT and PAYE. In response from the then Administration, he was sacked in 2011. This confirms that indeed the previous Administrators were not paying PAYE and NASSIT for their staff which deducted from staff salaries. Today is the same Philip John Kanu now is paying the PAYE of which he was sacked in 2011, God is a patient one. See the letter sent to the Administration at that time.

Hon. Sengepor Solomon Thomas, the Chairman of the Committee and Deputy Speaker of Parliament echoed that the committee was about accountability, he admonished the institution to always take the audit report seriously.

Assistant Auditor General, Mr. Morie Lansana, representing the Auditor General at the committee reaffirmed their position as an institution that their job is done under the confines of the law without fear or favour.

For his dynamic leadership style, the Public Account Committee lauded the Vice Chancellor and staff for their professionalism and hard work for transforming the institution into a Technical University an institution where nobody thought it will one day be a university.

The Committee promised to conduct a working visit to the institution.