State House, Budget Office, 306 Others Spent N149bn Illegally – Auditor-General

The Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr Anthony Ayine, has queried 308 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government over extra-budgetary spending of N149.5bn in 2016.

According to a Punch report, this is contained in the 2016 annual report of the Auditor-General for the Federation, which was obtained by The Punch on Sunday in Abuja.

The 2016 audit report is the latest to be prepared by the OAGF for all the MDAs.

The report was submitted to the National Assembly in June through a letter to the Clerk of the National Assembly, with reference C/AR.2016/CONF/VOL.1/01.

The report signed by Ayine, stated that the N149.5bn extra-budgetary expenditure by the 308 MDAs was a symptom of poor budgeting and accounting.

Some of the indicted MDAs are the National Centre for Women Development, with N3.82bn; National Emergency Management Agency, N10.48bn; Police Service Commission, N283.3m; and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, N1.12bn.

Also, National Primary Health Care Development Agency had extra-budgetary expenditure of N18.17bn; State House Operations-Vice President, N78.9m; Ministry of Petroleum Resources, N182.7m; Federal Civil Service Commission, N20.8m; Budget Office of the Federation, N96.5m; and Department of Petroleum Resources, N5.2bn, among others.

The report read in part, “Our examination of the consolidated statement of financial performance and the accompanying Note 13 revealed that 308 MDAs incurred extra-budgetary overhead expenditure of N149,509,623,789.40 in 2016 as their actual overhead expenditure overshot their appropriated budget for overhead costs.

“We, however, note that the total overhead expenditures of N670,827,528,970.26 shown on the statement of financial performance is far lower than the total appropriation for overheads for 2016 at N1,014,145,686,504.48.

“The extra-budgetary expenditure of N149.509,623,789.40 by some MDAs on overheads is a symptom of poor budgeting and accounting.”

Apart from the extra-budgetary spending, the report stated that an examination by the office also revealed that the sum of N12.08bn was transferred in cash to outstation offices and was not made available for the purpose of audit.

The AGF in the report lamented that despite audit queries raised by the office asking for clarifications from the agencies, many of them never responded.

Ayine said, “The MDAs and their accounting officers are reverting to the situation in the past where they did not promptly respond to audit observations.

“I am concerned about this development, which is a major setback to our accountability process. Where accounting officers fail to respond to audit queries, the implication is that they have no explanation to offer.”

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