Reps summon CBN, PENCOM, others over N300bn misappropriated funds

• Query Labour Minister over N7.8bn bail-out, SURE-P fund

The House of Representatives has summoned the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele; Director-General of National Pension Commission (PenCom), Aisha Dahir-Umar; Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr Muhammad Nami over the utilisation of N300 billion.

Other Ministers and heads of federal government agencies expected to appear before the House Committee on Public Accounts on the audit queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (oAuGF), are Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan; Minister of Information and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Patanmi and Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.

Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wole Oke issued the summon during the probe of various audit queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (oAuGF) to some Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the ‘cash withheld’ amounting to N182.077 billion in 2014.

Others include audit query on the N14.062 billion issued against Federal Inland Revenue Service; N12.639 billion audit issued against Head of Service Pension Office, as well as Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Ministry of Communications, FIRS, Nigerian Board for Incubator Centre, National Gallery of Arts, among others.

The Committee also summoned Federal Ministry of Defence, Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), National Sports Commission (NSC), among others over N425.127 million loans unaccounted for.

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The Committee also summoned the Accountant General of the Federation over 83 queries in its 2014 annual audit report, relating to the “closing balance of the Pension Account in CBN – N13,943,576,960.25 and the opening balance of N26,726,085,500.60, as well as the N54,536,413,672.93 borrowed fund for PHCN staff as reviewed in the statement of affairs and consolidated transcript of account for pension arrears in 2014 and the bank statement, cash book and statement of affairs of IPPIS in CBN which were not produced for audit.

The Committee, however, stepped down the queries and directed that CBN should provide the certificate showing the balance of the account as at 31st December 2014 and the bank statement of all the various sub-heads as at 31st December 2014, pursuant to Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution.

In the same vein, the Committee also summoned the Minister of Labour & Employment, Senator Chris Ngige over N7.880 billion unaccounted fund as contained in the audit query issued by the Auditor General of the Federation in 2014.

According to the Committee, the Minister is to provide the retirement particulars for the bail-out fund of N5 billion released by the Accountant General to the Ministry for community service scheme as well as retirement particulars for an additional sum of N2.880,395,462 disbursed to the Ministry for Vocational Training Centre under the SURE-P Programme.

In the same vein, the Committee also summoned the four officials from the Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management) Board, namely: two former PEF Executive Secretaries, Mrs Adefunke Sharon Kasali and Mrs Asabe Asmua Ahmed; former General Manager Operations, Aisha Fanya Usman; General Manager Finance & Accounts, Yusuf Danladi Mussa over the 2016 audit query.

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