15 March 2016, Abuja – The Federal Government says it has uncovered discrepancies of about N3.3tn in the remittance of funds by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government as well as foreign missions in the 2014 fiscal year.
This was contained in the 2014 Annual Audit Report presented to the National Assembly on Monday by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
According to the document, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation did not remit N3,234, 577,666,791.35 to the Federation Account Allocation Committee in 2014.
Apart from this, the report stated that $235,685,861, being gas sale proceeds accruable to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, was also not paid to the federation account, but rather, transferred to some undisclosed Escrow Accounts.
The report alleged that relevant documents were not made available to the office of the Auditor General for verification.
It added that N36,432,423,968.73 was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser, then under the headship of Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), for the rehabilitation and construction of dams instead of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Apart from this, the report stated that N2,894,531250.00 was spent on the procurement of hand sanitisers for schools and critical public places to tackle the Ebola epidemic.
The report said, “The sum of N31,324,952,239.87 was paid as subsidy on fertiliser and youth employment in agricultural programmes.
“The sum of N2,395,851,978.00 was payment for group Life Assurance Premium for Armed Forces budget in 2013, but not backed (by cash). The sum of N500,000,000 was made as payment for agricultural programmes.
“These were variances with the purpose of the fund. No evidence of these lines of expenditure in the 2014 Appropriation Act.”
The report added that the management of the National Assembly, headed by the Clerk, made payments of N9,514,568,222.62, without raising payment vouchers.
The report noted that the management of the National Assembly violated the nation’s financial regulation.
In the same period under review, the report noted that personal advances were granted to 112 staff of the National Assembly from recurrent votes and 50 members of staff from general service votes from July to December, 2014 for various purposes, totalling N1.162,009,305.00.
In the audit report, the AGF revealed how the Embassy of Nigeria in Washington DC, United States of America, realised Internally Generated Revenue of $3,705,428.00 between 2012 and March 2015, but expended the whole amount on sundry expenses.
The report added that a 22-storeyed building, housing the Nigerian Consulate-General, the National Boundary Commission of Nigeria and the National Intelligence Agency, was fast deteriorating and grossly underutilised, but huge sums in dollars were being expended to maintain it.
It recommended its immediate rehabilitation while it said the underutilised space be put up for rent to earn revenue for Nigeria.
The report added that the leadership of the Nigerian Prisons Service deducted Pay-As-You-Earn tax of N2,036,758,176.75, but failed to remit the money to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
The report noted that there was no evidence of remittance and nothing was produced for audit confirmation.
Another startling revelation in the report is the purchase of a vessel in Singapore on behalf of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for training programme at the Petroleum Training Institute, in Delta State.
It noted that part of the payment, which was not stated, was paid while the vessel had been abandoned for five years with the vessel vastly deteriorating in value.
“The cost of the purchase and how much was paid before the vessel was abandoned could not be ascertained due to the fact that the contract was awarded without the involvement of the Nigerian Mission in Singapore,” it added.
The report also stated that about $1.6m out of the contract sum of $2.3m, meant to build a school by Nigeria in Haiti at an area not affected by the earthquake in 2010, had been paid without the project being executed up until now.
The report stated, “As of the time of inspection, there was no evidence of a Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and the Haitian Government for the construction of the school. More so, the location of the school was not affected by earthquake in 2010. Therefore, the purpose for which the money was given could not be achieved.”
The report also uncovered an alleged N3.8bn allocation in the Ecological Fund, which was disbursed to Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi and Sokoto states as grants for undisclosed reasons and changed to capital vote in 2010.
“Despite repeated demands for payment vouchers they were not provided. We could not verify the nature of the grants,” the report added.