Corruption: Nigeria Agencies To Refund N300bn After Audit Indictment

An audit report which was approved by the Senate yesterday has indicted Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) and 56 other agencies who are to refund a total sum of N300 billion.

The Senate ordered that all monies illegally spent by the erring agencies between 2013 – 2015 should be remitted into the federation account within 60 days.

This followed the consideration of the report of the Committee on Public Accounts on the annual report of the Auditor General for the Federation on the accounts of the Federation for the year ended 31st December, 2015 (Part Ii &1).

The Public Accounts committee has been investigating expenditures of federal government agencies from 2015 – 2018 based on audit report by the Auditor-General for the Federation.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), in his presentation, disclosed that 114 MDAs were queried in the 2015 audit report, out of which 59 had their queries sustained after probe.

In the course of the investigation, Urhoghide said his panel observed across board, the incessant violation of extant rules by MDAs.

The committee observed that Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) misappropriated 995m; Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs N1.77 billion; Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) N68.9 billio, $2.3 million and €196,000.

Others are: Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) N4.35 billion; Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) N8.84 billion; Ministry of Petroleum Resources N821.9 million; National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) N1.88 billion and Mortgage Bank N369 million.

N/Delta ministry

The report said the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs disposed 22 vehicles to various beneficiaries in May 2015 and realized N5,215,500. Out of the 22 vehicles, eight were purchased on 23 June, and 18 August, 2014 for N106,560,000 and duly paid for. Less than one year after acquisition, six of the vehicles costing N90,870,000 were sold at a ridiculous sum of N2,172,600.

The Senate therefore ordered the sum of N61,436,400.00 being the understated disposable value of the vehicles be recovered and paid back to treasury within 60 days.

It directed that the sum of N4.8 million should be recovered from the statutory allocation of the Ministry after it awarded a contract of N46.4 million and granted tax waiver to the company without recourse to the tax provision of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

The Red Chamber also asked the ministry to remit the sum of N1.7 billion to the FIRS being the balance of the unremitted outstanding Withholding Task WHT and Value-Added Tax (VAT).

The NHIS, according to the report, invested N122,893,876,023 in fixed deposit account without the approval of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
The report noted that the interest yield amounting to N3,716,805, 388.00 realised by the agency was not remitted to the to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The Senate panel in its recommendations, upheld the OAGF report that the agency should refund N3,716,805, 388.00 to the CRF within 60 days.

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