Lawmakers Accuse Auditor General of Reckless Spending of Budgetary Allocation

Lawmakers Accuse Auditor General of Reckless Spending of Budgetary Allocation

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts yesterday accused the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) of reckless spending of the approved budgetary allocation for 2019 to 2021.

The lawmakers made the accusation during an oversight visit to the OAuGF headquarters in Abuja, led by its Chairman, Hon. Wole Oke.

The Committee picked holes in financial reports which were without vouchers and other supporting documents.

Some of the sub-heads queried by the lawmakers included: N1.9 million allegedly spent on new clinic; an additional sum of N3.967 million spent on drugs and medical supplies as well as N7.721 million spent on medical consulting, despite payment of N55.933 million as NHIS contribution as contained in the 2020 financial statement, as against N87.870 million NHIS contribution paid in 2019.

The lawmakers also demanded for the staff nominal roll of the office of the Auditor General for the Federation over increase in the N1.977 billion personnel cost for 2019 to N1.991 billion was appropriated in 2020, despite the depleting workforce and the request for 500 new staff.

According to the documents presented to the Committee, out of total sum of N984.231 million budget appropriated in 2019, the sum of N969.487 million was released for which training got a large chunk of the released fund.

The lawmakers further queried the sums of N120,304,830 spent on international travels & transport (audit of foreign mission, consular offices & 20 defence attaches); N40,710,380 spent on local travels & Transport (training), additional N286,881,055.18 on local travels & transport, others (hqtrs/State branch office and additional N100,093,600 spent on local travels as well as N35,710,812 spent on Auditors-General annual conference without specifying the location and vouchers.

In the same vein, the OAuGF spent N28, 850,080 on purchase of unspecified number of desktops and laptops computers as well as the sum of N49, 999,616.88 without any vouchers.

Worried by the development, a member of the Committee, Hon. Omowumi Ogunlola said: “We have a document prepared for us which is pre-emptive. We don’t have any evidence or proof of how the money here is being expended.

“We at the Public Account Committee have always insisted that MDAs call me with their evidence of their spending and expenditure. Is it because this is Auditor General’s office that they will just give to us these documents for us to see without any evidence of how the budget given to them is being expended?”

On his part, Oke gave the oAuGF a 7-day ultimatum to submit documentary evidence of all expenditures for the three years under review.

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