Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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Reps hit AuGF, uncover billions spent without documents

The House of Representatives has accused the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (oAuGF) of engaging in unnecessary expenditure while Nigeria struggled in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.

The House stated this after perusing the financial records from the approved budgetary allocation for 2019 to 2021 of the office of the Auditor general.

The Chairman and members of the House Committee on Public Accounts had picked holes in the financial reports submitted by the OAuGF as well as those without vouchers and supporting documents during an oversight function to the oAuGF headquarters in Abuja.

The lawmakers queried the N1.9 million allegedly spent on new clinics, an additional sum of N3.967 million, spent on drugs and medical supplies as well as N7.721 million spent on medical consulting despite the payment of N55.933 million for NHIS contribution as contained in the 2020 financial statement against the N87.870 million NHIS contribution paid in 2019.

Furthermore, they demanded the staff nominal roll of the Auditor-General’s office over an increase in the N1.977 billion personnel cost for 2019 to N1.991 billion appropriated in 2020, despite the depleting workforce.

During a tour of the facility, the committee’s visit to the oAuGF clinic on the first floor of the Audit House revealed that only two female nurses dressed in mufti were on seat while a medium-sized oxygen cylinder stood by the lone single bed in the supposed health centre which reportedly gulped millions.

Following other discoveries running into billions, the Auditor-General could not justify or reconcile the bogus expenses recorded in the agency’s books.

Reacting to the development, lawmaker, Omowumi Ogunlola from Ekiti State sought to know which office has the responsibility of auditing the Auditor General’s office.

He said, “We are not auditing them, but over-sighting them. So, who calls to order the recklessness of the financial spending of this office?”, the lawmaker queried.

The Committee, following the encounter, issued a 7-day ultimatum for the office to submit documentary evidence of all expenditure for the three years under review.

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