13 August 2015, Abuja – The Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr Samuel Ukura, has said N183.7 billion could not be accounted for by auditors who conducted a special check on the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, from 2008 to 2012. –
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, two of the reports were on the environmental audit on the drying up of Lake Chad while the third was on Special Periodic Checks on the activities and programmes of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Giving a highlight of the report, Ukura said a lot of discrepancies were noticed in the NDDC accounts, adding that about N183.7 billion was expected to be refunded to the federation.
Ukura said a breakdown of the refund included the N70.4 billion unaccounted for from the mobilisation of various contractors that never reported to site. It also includes “N5.8 billion paid to contractors for projects not executed or abandoned. N90.5 billion was spent on extra budgetary expenditure without approval by legal authorities, while un-deducted taxes from contractors are N1.2 billion.”
About “N10.07 billion should be refunded as tax deductions made without evidence of remittance to FIRS. N3.1 billion was transfered to unauthorised accounts and unaccountable staff advances were N1.7 billion. It is our belief that all the money spent by government, if it was properly spent in the region, Niger Delta would be a better place.”
Ukura said N785 million of N1.1 billion contracts for the supply of furniture to various schools in Delta State was also unaccounted for.
He said that the additional details of their findings were contained in the report he submitted to the Clerk, National Assembly, Mr Salisu Maikasuwa. On the drying up of the Lake Chad report, Ukura said the reclamation of the lake would revive economic activities of the North East and end insurgency in the region.
“The key message is that Lake Chad is drying up very fast from 25,000 sq. km in 1960 to just 1,500 sq. km as at present. We must save Lake Chad from extinction. Right now, the part of the lake with water is in Cameroon and Chad. Hence farmers, cattle breeders in the Nigerian side are suffering and economic activities in the region have dwindled significantly. The drying up has brought about so many problems like the clashes between herdsmen and farmers and Boko Haram as well.
“This is because the youths are idle and like the saying, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” Ukura said when the committee members on public account at the National Assembly were constituted, his office would organise a workshop to enlighten them on the subject matter.