Moi University has confirmed that it is facing serious financial difficulties following a revelation from the Auditor General that the institution is not bankrupt.
Auditor General Nancy Gathungu said in a recent report for 2018-2019 that the university’s debt exceeded 4.5 billion shillings.
Moi University Council Chairman Dr Humphrey Njuguna now says it is true that debt has risen to more than 5 billion shillings, thus crippling operations.
The Institute of Higher Education describes its financial problems with the closure of satellite universities and the abolition of several courses two years ago.
“It is true that we have financial problems,” Njuguna said. “However, I can confirm that the University Council has devised a plan that will prevent the collapse of the institution,” he added.
Dr Njuguna said Moi University was looking to change its revenue sources to continue operating.
In addition to the closure of universities and the disruption of classrooms, the president of the board attributed the university’s financial challenges to the workforce caused by reducing student enrollment.
He said that to date Moi University has 30,000 students, from 50,000 a few years ago.
Dr Njuguna said the 6,500-seat stadium inaugurated at the institute on Tuesday, September 21, would help raise revenue for the ailing university.
“This project will allow the institution to organize local and international conferences, promote the preservation of cultural and performing arts,” he said.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) announced on September 9 that it has opened an investigation into allegations that the university paid salaries to air crews. As a result, the EACC has required salary records for all employees since July 1, 2018.
It is reported that the institute has at least 10,000 employees, of whom 1,000 on payroll are believed to be employees.
Board President Dr Njuguna said the institution welcomes EACC inquiries on the structure of its payroll.
“It is not true that we have air crews at Moi University,” he said, adding: “The institute has a robust human resource management system that would not allow the presence of ghost workers.”
Moi University “faces financial challenges, like many Kenyan public universities,” says Dr Njuguna.
As part of efforts to end its declining finances, in June this year, Moi University began growing apples on its 100-acre farm with its eyes on the main market. The institute hopes to expand the farm to 1,000 acres.
University Secretary General of Education Simon Nabukwesi encouraged higher education institutions to use alternative sources of revenue as a means of furthering their activities.
Some employees at Moi University accused the institution of delaying their salaries for months, which resulted in them not being listed or not being given loans.
The university’s vice chancellor, Professor Isaac Kosgey, is optimistic about the institution’s return to profitability, calling the challenges “manageable”.