by Usman Alabi

Misappropriations according to ministries between January and December 2015

Ministry Amount not accounted for
Ministry of Power, Works and Housing N9.2billion
Aviation N702 million
Water Resources N3.4 billion
Foreign Affairs N4.4 million
Labour and Employment N84.7 million
Information and Culture N561.6 million
Ministry of Petroleum Resources N1.7 billion
Ministry of Women Affairs N20 million
Ministry of Solid Minerals Development N37.6 million
Ministry of Transport N87.8 million
Ministry of Environment N86.5 million
Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs N1.9 billion
Ministry of Defence N2.692bn
Defunct Ministry of Police Affairs N1.839bn
Ministry of Youths and Sports Development N1.144bn
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment N1.076 bn
Ministry of Finance N22.103million

SOURCE: Details of Auditor Genaral 2015 report published by Daily Trust, March 8th, 2017

Analysis by Ministry according to the Report

Defence

According to the report based on Daily trust publication, the sum of N1bn, being the overhead cost transferred to the Chief of Naval Staff for the first quarter of 2015, “could not be traced into the vote book, cashbook and bank statement of the ministry.

‘’The entry of this amount into the above mentioned books of accounts will make it easier o reconcile it with the monthly returns of expenditure rendered by the Nigeria Navy, showing expenditure, liabilities incurred and balance available, as stated in the Financial Regulation 406,” the report stated.

According to the report, the permanent secretary in the ministry was informed about anomalies on October 2, 2015 and that explanations are still being awaited in spite of a reminder dated July 8 2016.

Defunct Ministry of Police Affairs

The report stated that vouchers for the sum of N698.532 million were raised and paid to various contractors for the procurement of varying types of vehicles, 92 stand-alone solar street lights and other services between April and July, 2015. “Further audit scrutiny of the payment vouchers revealed that relevant supporting documents were not attached for audit examination.”

The report further stated that payments amounting to N718.911m were made to 11 corporate bodies for different service rendered, but that “surprisingly, no further documents regarding this payment were produced for audit review despite repeated request, contrary to Financial Regulation 110.”

Finance

For the Federal Ministry of Finance, it was reported that the sum of N16.858 million cash advances granted to some staff of the Ministry in October and December of 2015 were not retired, contrary to Financial Regulation 420.

Ministry of Power, Works and Housing

N1.2 billion was seen standing against Works sector according to daily trust, N7.3 billion stood against the power sector while the Housing sector could not account for N723 million.

In the power sector according to Daily Trust, the report stated that the sum of N7billion was received by the Ministry in January 2016

“This fund was spread into four commercial banks under the account name hydropower Transmission Project. The budget for 2015 was not passed as at the time this money was received by the Ministry in January 2015 while the account for the year 2014 was already closed as at 31st 2015, the report stated”

The report also noted that there was no evidence that such money was budgeted for the Hydropower Transmission Project in either 2014 or 2015 fiscal year of the Ministry Appropriation Act.

Another expenditure amounting to N246 million was also queried in the power sector, the money was said to have been paid to some staff of the Ministry as ‘advanced’. While Auditing the Ministry, the retirement vouchers and details of retirement were not forwarded for examination despite several demands.

“Having exceeded the various time limits stipulated in the financial regulations, N246million should be recovered from the officers immediately, forwarding recovery particulars for verification,” the report stated.

N1.2 bn not accounted for in Works

The AuGF report said the contractor handling the 18km Manyam-Ushonog-lessel-Kantyo-Oju-Agile-Ongba road in Benue state abandoned the project after collecting N155 million. The Auditor-General demanded for the refund of N124 million. It also demanded for the refund of N218 million being part of the money paid the contractor handling Yashi-Duguri road in Bauchi state.

The Auditor-General ordered that a total of N902 million be refunded to the Federation account by five contractors that collected the money but have abandoned the sites.

Housing sector

The Auditor-General report stated that advance ledger revealed that various advances granted to staff totaling N104 million were overdue for retirement as at 31st December, 2015.

“Multiple advances were granted to some staff without retiring the previous ones. The unretired advances should be recovered from the officers’ emoluments en-bloc forwarding recovery particulars for verification,” the report stated.

Aviation

The Ministry was queried for spending N427 million on the procurement of Navigational Aids/spare parts and maintenance without approval.

“Scrutiny of the capital appropriation document revealed a zero budget allocation for the purchase of Air Navigation equipment with code number 23010131. This constituted a gross violation and distortion of the Appropriation Act,” the report stated. The Permanent Secretary of the ministry has been requested to furnish the Auditor-General with the statutory financial instrument of the National Assembly authorizing the expenditure.

“In addition, the responsible officials involved in the authorization and disbursement of the fund should be held liable for lack of due diligence”

The Auditor-General observed that 51 recurrent expenditure account items, mainly local and international travels amounting to N147million were inappropriately charged to the Capital Development Account of the Ministry of Aviation.

“The Permanent Secretary has been asked to explain the circumstances that warranted the Ministry’s misapplication of capital development fund for expenditure which appears at variance with the Appropriation Act and extant.” It directed that the amounts involved should be recovered and recovery particulars forwarded to the Auditor-General for verification.

Petroleum Resources

39 vouchers amounting to N535.6 million for recurrent and capital expenditures were hidden and not produced for audit examination during the time of audit exercise despite numerous demands.

“In view of this, I find it difficult to accept these expenditures as proper and legitimate charges against public funds,” The Auditor-General stated.

Ministry of Water Resources

The Auditor-General observed that a contract for the Adaba River Dam project in Enugu was awarded at N2.5 billion with a completion period of 24 months. The report stated that the total payment for the contract from 2010 to 2015 amounted to N488.7 million.

“This is a clear indication that no serious funding arrangement was put in place for this project. The permanent secretary has been requested to explain what became of the sum of N827 million earmarked for the project in 2010 as contained in the Council memo” the report stated.

The contract for the construction of Ibusa small earth Dam in Delta awarded at N914 million was also queried.

An analysis of the payment made so far to the contractor revealed that as at December 2015, only N75 million has been paid out of the N137 million mobilization fees.

Niger Delta

Here, a sample of schedules for deduction of withholding and Value Added Tax of N1.8billion was generated during the period under review but that the supporting receipts of remittance from Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounted to N144 million.

“The difference of N1.7 billion represents withholding and VAT generated but not supported with evidence of remittance from the FIRS. The Permanent Secretary has been requested to produce relevant remittance receipts from FIRS verification.

“The above observations have been communicated to the Permanent Secretary on August 29, 2016 and his response is still being awaited.’’

The report claimed that the attention of all permanent secretaries of the affected ministries was drawn to the queries against their ministries, but they are yet to respond after two years.

The report has been submitted to the National Assembly and handed over to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts

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