No cash backing for N2.3b Armed Forces premium
$316.2m can’t be traced
FACTS AND FIGURES
•$235.6m gas cash diverted to escrow accounts
•N73.5b spent contrary to established purpose
•N36.4b released to ONSA for dam rehabilitation
•N10billion SURE-P funds undisclosed
•National Assembly’s management disbursed N9,514,568,222.62, without payment vouchers
•N12.6b rice levy spent on urgent and critical needs
•No evidence of accounting for the utilisation
of the N5,199, 864, 234 Police Reward Fund
•Beneficiaries of N803, 165, 879.78 withdrawn from Ministry of Niger Delta not named
•$2.3m contract awarded by Nigerian High Commission in Jamaica without due process
•N2,395,851,978.00 for Group Life Assurance Premium for Armed Forces not cash backed
A sordid picture of financial recklessness in the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan administration was yesterday painted by the Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Samuel Ukura.
He said about N3.2trillion revenue was not remitted to the Federation Account.
Besides, $235.6m earned from gas was diverted to undisclosed escrow accounts.
Ukura said the whereabouts of $316.2m in NGL Funding Account was unknown because no document was made available to confirm either the receipt or utilisation of the cash.
More shocking was the disclosure by the AGF that payments amounting to about N73,547,759. 436 were made contrary to the established purpose of the funds.
Of the N73.5billion, about N36, 432,423,968.73 was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) for rehabilitation of dams —a job reserved for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
The management of the National Assembly allegedly disbursed N9,514,568,222.62, without raising payment vouchers.
The AGF released the shocking details in the nation’s 2014 Audit Report, which was submitted to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa, for consideration by both chambers of the National Assembly.
The presentation was in line with Section 85(2) (4) of the 1999 Constitution.
The section says: “The public accounts of the Federation and of all offices and courts of the Federation shall be audited and reported on by the Auditor-General who shall submit his reports to the National Assembly; and for that purpose, the Auditor-General or any person authorized by him in that behalf shall have access to all books, records, returns and other documents relating to those accounts.”
In fulfilment of his mandate, the AGF returned a damning verdict of sleaze and mismanagement of funds in 2014 during the administration of ex-President Jonathan.
The report reads in part: “From the examination of NNPC mandates to CBN on Domestic Crude Sales and Reconciliation Statement of Technical Subcommittee of Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting held in January 2014, amount not remitted to FAAC was N3, 234,577, 666,791.35
“Review of sales profile on sale of gas to NLNG ($235,685,861.31) was not paid to the Federation Account but transferred to some undisclosed Escrow Accounts. Relevant documents were not made available for verification.
“Sales profiles ($316, 211,227) on gas in respect of Gas Export Sales due to the Federation were stated to have been paid and received through the NGL Funding Account. No statements or documents were made available to confirm the receipts as well as the utilisation of these payments made through the named account.”
The AGF listed other financial infractions in 2014 by the government to include:
“Withdrawal of N922, 429, 182 from Husked Brown Rice Levy as loan given to Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) to finance 2015 elections.
“About N7billion Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) Levy was withdrawn as loan given to INEC to finance 2015 elections. Expenditure is contrary to the purpose of the fund, which is to fund Destination Inspection Service Providers.
“The value of the Federal Government and Federation Account Foreign Reserves was not disclosed in Financial Statements as part of the assets of the Federal Government.
“Direct deductions from FGN shares in respect of 1% Police Reward Fund(N5,199, 864, 234). There was no evidence of accounting for the utilisation of this fund.
“Non-disclosure of N10billion expenditure of Subsidy Re-investment (SURE-P) in the Consolidated Development Fund Statement.
“Ministry of Niger Delta. Lots of funds through illegal withdrawals. About N803, 165, 879.78 was withdrawn through three illegal withdrawals as follows: N300m(3/9/2014); N305, 073, 540(17/9/2014) and N198, 092, 339.78( 19/11/ 2014). Beneficiaries not stated/ indicated.
“National Assembly. N9,514,568,222.62 payments were made without raising payment vouchers at the Management Department, which is a violation of Financial Regulation 601.
“Personal advances granted to 112 staff from recurrent votes and 50 members of staff from General Service Vote from July to December 2014 for various purposes all amounting to N1, 162, 009.305”.
The report explained that payments amounting to about N73,547,759,436 were made, contrary to the established purpose of the funds.
The highlights of the diversion of N73.5billion to other purposes are as follows:
- N36,432,423,968.73 was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) for the rehabilitation and construction of dams instead of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
- N2,894,531250.00 was spent on the procurement of hand sanitizers for schools and critical public places.
- N31,324,952,239.87 was paid for subsidy on fertilizer and youth employment in agricultural programmes.
- N2,395,851,978.00 was approved for Group Life Assurance Premium for Armed Forces budget in 2013, but not cash backed.
- N500,000,000 payment for agricultural programmes.
- N500million payment for schools agricultural programmes
“These were variances with the purpose of the fund. No evidence of these lines of expenditure in the 2014 Appropriation Act,” the AGF said in the report.”
On the earthquake in Haiti, the AGF’s report indicted the Nigerian High Commission in Jamaica.
The report said the Embassy awarded $2.3million contract without due process.
The report said: “The aftermath of Haiti earthquake in 2010 led the Nigeria Red Cross to coordinate fund raising to assist Haiti victims. The total sum remitted to Nigeria High Commission, Kingston-Jamaica was US$4, 901,006. 16.
“The fund was to primarily finance a project in Haiti with a view to alleviating the suffering of the victims and promoting greater cooperation between the two countries.
“A Nigeria-based contractor was awarded a contract to build a school in Haiti at the area not affected by earthquake at the contract sum of $2, 333, 420.89 in which 50 % of the contract sum was advanced(US$1, 166, 710.04 without due process.
“Physical inspection of the project revealed that the project is at foundation stage and not more than 12% completion stage in October 2015 even though execution was suspended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The Project Coordinator was awarded a contract of US$366, 160 with the sum of US$192, 408 paid.
“The Nigerian High Commission officials were indebted to the fund to the tune of US$ 552, 629 as at the time of audit in October 2015.
“The fund was invested in fixed account and yielded accumulated interest of $147, 831.89 which was withdrawn and cannot be accounted for.
“The balance in the account as at the time of audit in October 2015 was US$2, 890,656.5 credit.
“As at the time of inspection, there was no evidence of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Nigerian and the Haitian Governments for the construction of the school. More so, the location of the school was not affected by earthquake in 2010. Therefore, the purpose in which the money was given cannot be achieved.
“Acquisition and payment of a N3, 630, 000,000 property for Petroleum Equalization Fund(PEF) Head Office building at Kado District without Certificate of Occupancy(C of O).”
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