Senate Queries SMEDAN over N298m Paid to Officials

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By Deji Elumoye

The Senate has queried the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) for failing to account for N298 million advance payments made to some of its officials in 2013.

This was sequel to the 2015 report submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF).

Chairman of the committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, had frowned at the failure of the agency to present supporting documents for the N298 million spent by some of its officials in 2013.

Urhoghide, while reading the query on Tuesday said: “Audit review of the Internal Auditor report made available revealed that in December 2013, a total amount of N298 million was paid as advances.”

Director General of SMEDAN, Dikko Radda, however, defended the agency, explaining that all the documents presented before the committee were the expenses of 2014, claiming that the error was caused by a mix up when they were compiling the documents.

Responding to the evidence presented by the SMEDAN, the representative of Auditor General of the Federation, Adeagbo Ajibola confirmed that the documents presented before the committee were that of 2014 and not of 2013.

But the committee chairman frowned at the failure of the agency to put its house in order, saying the excuse was not tenable before the committee.

In a written response to the committee, SMEDAN said, “the agency’s Internal Auditors observations were fully addressed and all personal and non-personal advances granted for the period under review have been dully retired.

“Meanwhile, as advised, cash advances will be retired as at when due and successive advances will not be granted without retirement of previous one.”