The latest audit report prepared by Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation has said the National Assembly management failed to account for a total expenditure of over N9.4 billion in 2014.
The money included N9.39 billion for which no “documentary evidence” was provided and a N47 million to be returned to government coffers, out of which only N360,000 was returned, giving a total of approximately N9.4 billion.
But National Assembly management said last night it would only react to the report after the Sallah break.
The audit report of government bodies (2009-2014) was submitted to the Clerk to the National Assembly in March 2016 as statutorily provided. The full contents were recently publicly disclosed by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation on its website.
The report indicted several government bodies of illegal and profligate spending, and failing to remit over N3 trillion into government’s treasury.
The state oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Ministry of Interior, the Presidency, Central Bank of Nigeria and some foreign missions were among them.
According to the report, between January and December, 2014 under the leadership of David Mark as Senate President and Salisu Maikasuwa as the Clerk, the Management Department of the National Assembly Commission transferred N9,392,995,515.00 from the general services account to other accounts in different banks.
The purposes stated for the transfer include Senate General Services, Appropriation, Constitutional Review, House of Representatives Services, UNDP Projects and Research Office Services.
However, “no expenditure returns or documentary evidence were rendered to account for how these sums were expended,” the report said, raising question of accountability and legality.
In another case, the report disclosed that the National Assembly management remitted only N360,000, out of a N47 million balance of total personnel vote release and actual expenditure for 2014.
“It was further observed that the total Personnel Vote release for the year 2014 was N1,856,510,517.00, and the Actual Expenditure for the same period was N1,808,661,460.18, resulting in a balance of N47,849,057.00.
“However, only an amount of N360,115.08 was paid back to treasury at the end of the year,” the report said.
In May, after the audit report had been submitted to the National Assembly, the Senate Committee on Public Accounts led by Andy Uba (PDP-Anambra) held a public hearing during which a number of government bodies refuted certain findings of the audit report, particularly the disclosure that they didn’t submit their internal audit reports between 2009 and 2014.
Some of the bodies that challenged aspects of the report were CBN, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and Nigeria Pension Commission.
However, the National Assembly has not denied the findings of the audit report as they related to the lawmaking body – though its committee castigated the then Auditor-General of the Federation, Samuel Ukara, for an “unsatisfactory report”, cashing in on complaints by other government bodies.
However, the Director of Information in the National Assembly, Mr. Adamu Dibal, said he would only react after the Sallah break.
“I will need to cross check with the secretary in charge of finance to get you all the vital information concerning this issue,” he said..