State House, budget office, 306 others spent N149 billion illegally - Auditor General

State House, budget office, 306 others spent N149 billion illegally - Auditor General

- Three hundred and eights agencies have been accused of extra-budgetary spending

- The agencies were said to have spent N149.5 billion illegally in 2016

- According to Auditor general for the Federation, the agencies are yet to respond to queries from his office on the matter

The Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine, has queried 308 ministries, department and agencies of government for spending N149 billion illegally.

Ayine said these agencies including the State House and the budget office exceeded their budget for 2016 by N149.5 billion.

A 2016 annual report by the auditor general to be prepapered by the office of the AGF to all MDAs has been submitted to the National Assembly through its clerk.

Punch reports that the letter with reference number: C/AR.2016/CONF/VOL.1/01 was signed by Ayine. The letter said the extra-budgetary expenditure by the 308 MDAs was a symptom of poor budgeting and accounting.

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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."

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It also said that examination revealed that N12.08 billion was also transferred in cash to outstation offices and was not made available for the purpose of audit.

Ayine also noted that many MDAs never responded to queries on clarifications made by the office of the AGF.

He 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.”

Some of the other agencies indicted in the extra-budgetary spending include: the National Centre for Women Development, with N3.82 billion; National Emergency Management Agency, N10.48 billion; Police Service Commission, N283.3 million; and Tertiary Education Trust Fund, N1.12 billion.

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

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Meanwhile, previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2018 appropriation bill into law on Wednesday, June 20. The president assented to the bill at the presidential villa in Abuja in the presence of some of his cabinet members.

President Buhari also promised that his administration will work very hard to generate the revenues required to finance projects and programmes of the 2018 budget.

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