AuGF indicts National Assembly, management in alleged N9.424b financial infractions
The Office of the Auditor General for the Federation (OAuGF) has indicted the management of the National Assembly and the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) of financial infractions and irregularities amounting to N9.424 billion during the 2019 financial year.
About N5.521 billion of such expenditure was credited to the House of Representatives in five different audit queries; N3.595 billion credited to the Senate in seven audit queries; while N307.676 million was credited to the NASC in two audit queries.
These queries are contained in the “Auditor General for the Federation annual report on non-compliance/internal control weaknesses issues in Ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government of Nigeria for the year ended 31st December 2019”.
The report, with reference AuGF/AR.2019/02, addressed to the clerk to the National Assembly and dated September 15, 2021, was signed by the Auditor General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu.
It said N2.550 billion was granted to members of the House of Representatives as running costs between July and December 2019 without evidence to show what the funds were used for, neither was the money retired.
The report also said N258 million was given to 59 workers of the House, while another N107.912 million was given to two workers for repairs and maintenance of unspecified residential quarters, denying government of the statutory VAT and WHT of 10,791,296 accruable to government if the work had been awarded to contractors.
The AuGF report also said N1,594,807,097.83 was paid to revenue authorities between February and December 2019 as PAYE (six members), car loan (five members) and housing loan (six members) without acknowledgment receipts from the relevant revenue authorities.
It also queried the payment of N1,010,598,610.97 from the salary account of the House without payment vouchers, as required by law, while asking the Clerk to the National Assembly to provide explanation for the irregularities and ensure that the amount involved is returned to government treasury.
It indicted the NASC for failure to retire about N31.927 million cash advance granted to 59 workers of the commission as well as failure to remit one percent stamp duty, amounting to N276,749,014.68.
The report also said about N219.645 million deducted as housing loan from some senators was not remitted.
It said: “The sum of 219,645,567.08 was deducted from 107 senators’ salary arrears between July and December 2019 as housing loans, and there was no evidence to show that the above amount was remitted to the Treasury.”
The report also said N123.320 million and N176.267 million deducted from senators’ salary arrears between July and December 2019 as vehicle loans and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from workers’ salaries were not remitted to the appropriate authority.
The report also said N277.411 million deducted as VAT and WHT from services rendered was not remitted to the Federal Inland Revenue Services, while the office of the Clerk failed to present payment vouchers amounting to N1,718,130,630.24 for audit verification.
Also, the report said N657.757 million was paid for the supply of vehicles and other office equipment in 16 payment vouchers that were not cleared by Internal Audit, as required by law, before such payments were made, while another N423.370 million was paid for the supply of utility vehicles and production of National Assembly logo between August and November 2019 from the Capital account with no relevant document.
The House Committee on Public Account has summoned the Clerk to the Nation Assembly, Amos Ojo, to appear before it to respond to the audit queries.
Committee Chairman Wole Oke said before the House went on Christmas break, the Clerk should appear before the committee to respond to respond to the Auditor General queries.