- Laments major lapses in management of public funds
Classifies N28.56bn contracts as mere waste
James Emejo in Abuja
The Auditor-General for the Federation (AuGF), Mr. Anthony Ayine, has indicted about 45 revenue generating agencies of failure to remit over N20.67 billion into the federation account as their operating surpluses.
He also identified major weaknesses and lapses in the management of public funds and resources across several ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs).
He said although there had been a marked improvement over the years, violations of statutory financial reporting obligations by parastatals were still rife among some public institutions.
His comments were contained in the 2017 Audit Report, which was posted yesterday on the website of the Office of the AuGF.
The AuGF said the payments, totaling N26.60 billion made by MDAs, were fraught with 140 infractions.
Besides, the audit further revealed breaches in the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007 by MDAs as the sum of N28.56 billion spent on various contract-related transactions reflected waste or loss of public funds.
Ayine said 10 MDAs embarked on international travels and trainings without requisite approvals from appropriate authorities.
He recommended stringent sanctions, including withholding financial releases and punitive measures against chief executives of defaulting agencies, which do not render timely accounts, as provided in the constitution, financial regulations and other relevant laws.
According to him, some of the government corporations, companies and commissions have not submitted their audited accounts to the AuGF despite the provision of Financial Regulation 3210(v), which details chief executives to submit both the audited accounts and management reports not later than May 31 of the following year of accounts.
Ayine said 160 agencies defaulted in submission of audited accounts for 2016 while the number of agencies, which defaulted in submission of audited accounts increased to 265 agencies in 2017 and 11 agencies had never submitted any financial statements since inception.
He stated that the findings ranged from irregular expenditures to failure to surrender billions of naira in surplus revenues to the treasury by public agencies.
Among other things, the report also revealed that 12 MDAs had procured store items valued at N825.87 million, which did not pass through necessary documentation and were not taken on store charge.
The report also indicted the National Assembly for incurring unapproved overdrafts amounting to N95.21 million without due process.
It noted that payment vouchers amounting to N235.74 million between April and June 2017 and N437.33 million between July and October 2017, were not produced for audit.
The AuGF consequently recommended the Clerk of the National Assembly should recover a total sum of N673.08 million and return it to the treasury while evidence of such transactions should be made available to the office of the