Reps quiz AGF over N1.819trn extra-budgetary spending in 2014 fiscal year

•NSA gets N36.4bn to construct dam •N31.3bn paid into political appointee •N2.8bn approved for hand sanitizers

The House of Representatives on Tuesday quizzed the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris over extra-budgetary expenditure worth over N1.819 trillion in 2014 fiscal year.

Worried by the response provided by the AGF to various queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation, the lawmakers rejected the Accountant General’s response which failed to address various concerns raised in the audit queries.

Breakdown of the extra-budgetary expenditure are N54 billion borrowed fund for a staff of PHCN in 2014 and N745.4 billion payment allegedly approved by President Goodluck Jonathan from the Natural Resources Fund account, N594.3 billion loan withdrawn from the Stabilisation Fund which belongs to the three tiers of government.

It also includes the sum of N73.5 billion paid in 2014, out of which N36.4 billion was released to the National Security Adviser (NSA) for rehabilitation and construction of the dam; N31.3 billion paid to an account which a political appointee was a signatory and additional sum of N2.8 billion paid for the purchase of hand sanitizers.

Similarly, the Auditor General queried the Accountant general’s office over the sum of N200.9 billion deducted from Federal Government’s share of the Federation Account, out of the total sum of N797.9 billion reported in the 2014 financial statement, showing the variance of N52.7 billion.

ALSO READ: I’ll ensure adequate security of lives, properties in Sokoto ― Tambuwal

In his response to various audit queries issued by the Auditor General of the Federation in 2014 financial year, Mr Idris Ahmed disclosed that the N54 billion was borrowed fund for the staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in 2014 for payment of staff pension.

Also, the House said it was not satisfied by the explanation of the Accountant General that the closing balance that was not returned to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation was not government money, but the money belongs to other agencies such as unions and taxes meant for other states.

He said: “For example, I know that when the issue ASUU occurred in the past and the government wanted to pay the outstanding allowances, they went and borrowed money from TETFUND.

“I am not saying the N54 billion was borrowed from Pension money. But I want to assure the parliament that we will provide the source of that money and other information required from us.”

The Accountant General who explained that the 2014 financial closing balance was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), argued that: “it is third party money deducted from a source such as union dues and taxes meant for states.

“That money does not belong to the federal government and that is why it was not remitted to the CRF so that we will not run into trouble when it is time to pay.”

Mr Ahmed also informed the Committee on Public Accounts that the delay in the passage of the national budget and extension of the capital budget beyond the financial year made it impossible for his office to prepare the financial statement of the government for audit as required by extant financial year.

While responding to the allegation bothering on financial sabotage, the Accountant general explained that: “We are for the Federation and cannot sabotage the Federation. We are doing our best to ensure things are done normally.”

He also said that the delay in getting a transcript of accounts from various Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) occasioned by the attitude of staff from the MDAs or outright lack of capacity was also partly responsible for the delay in preparing government’s annual statement of accounts.

“If there is no rendition of account from the MDAs, there is no way the account can be prepared. Sometimes, we threaten to withhold allocation to them before they send in their transcript and sometimes, we have to send our staff to assist them. But going forward, we are deploying ICT which will now be used,” he argued.

He, however, explained that his office was working on a draft law that will amend the existing law stating the specific period for the submission of annual financial statement to the Auditor General, adding that the draft law will soon be submitted to the National Assembly.

He argued that the approval for the release of the N745 billion was for 23 special accounts, adding “there was no specific request for approvals.”

He also explained that that the Police Reward Fund account which was operational up to 2012, suddenly became dormant.

While ruling, the Committee resolved to summon the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali over the 10% cocoa levy account, as well Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele over the Police Reward Fund which was dormant after 2012.

Hon. Oke who frowned at the development, the Parliament will have no option to demand the refund of the money if the Accountant general fails to provide the authority letter from the President.


Court Threatens To Revoke Shehu Sani’s Bail
The Federal High Court, Abuja, Monday, said it would revoke the bail granted Senator Shehu Sani if he fails to appear in court on the next adjourned date for the trial of the two-count criminal charges preferred against him by the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission… Read Full Story

Buhari Appoints New Chief Personal Security Officer
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Aliyu Abubakar Musa, as his Chief Personal Security Officer (CPSO). He replaces Commissioner of Police (CP) Abdulkarim Dauda, who was recently redeployed… Read Full Story

APC: Buni-Led Caretaker Committee Promises True Reconciliation
As part of measure to make progress on its mandate in reconciling all factions in the ruling All Progressives Congress, the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led committee has promised to embark on genuine reconciliation of all party leaders and members ahead of the planned convention… Read Full Story

NITDA Can Finance Nigeria’s Annual Budget ―Reps Public Account
The House of Representatives says the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has the wherewithal to finance the country’s annual budget if given the necessary environment… Read Full Story

No Fee Is Charged For NIS Recruitment ― CG
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned applicants against patronising fake recruitment sites as no fee was charged for NIS recruitment. The Comptroller General, NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, gave the warning in a statement by the Service Public Relations Officer (SPEO), Mr Sunday James… Read Full Story

Inside Ibadan Slums Where Water Scarcity, Open Defecation Thwart Efforts At Ending COVID-19 Pandemic
Ibadan, Nigeria’s third most populous city, wears rusted zinc-roof like a royal hat. Weak bricks, cracked and patchy walls are strewn all about the outskirts of the city. The waft of open sewage soaks the air… Read Full Story

Buhari To Perform Virtual Flag-Off Of Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Tuesday
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Tuesday, conduct a virtual flag-off of the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline construction project, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said… Read Full Story

Whistleblower Allegation Of $1bn In Unity Bank Account False ― NPA
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has refuted claims that it has an account containing $1bn in Unity Bank Plc. In a statement signed by the General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the NPA, Jatto Adams, the agency said that the account number being peddled in public glare by the whistleblower… Read Full Story

COVID-19: Over 2 Million Transport Workers In Critical Condition —Wabba
The President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has cried out that over two million of the congress affiliate members in the road transport sector are worst hit by the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown; and are in critical condition, dying in silence… Read Full Story

EDITORIAL: The Demolition Of Nigeria’s High Commission In Ghana
A Ghanaian citizen recently attacked the Nigerian High Commission in the country, demolishing a part of it. Expectedly, the action caused ripples in the diplomatic circles, with some observers wondering what such an action portended for the relationship between Nigeria and Ghana, which was until then presumably chummy… Read Full Story

Ending The Cable Tv Profiteering
It was like a movie, watching the proceedings of the Ad Hoc Committee set up by the House of Representatives, to probe the hike of subscription rates by cable television service providers. The Chairman of the said Committee, Hon Unyime Idem, took me back to my Aluta days at Obafemi Awolowo University… Read Full Story


You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More