AKSG: Allegation of multi-billion naira scandal false, faluty

AKSG: Allegation of multi-billion naira scandal false, faluty

- A report on the financial records of the Akwa Ibom state government has proved to be faulty

- Data on the report was gotten from faulty figures not verified

- The state government has put paid to the report by providing accurate data

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The authorities in Akwa Ibom say a recent investigative report alleging multi-billion naira fraud against some officials of the state government is false and faulty.

The report had indicted the Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Emmanuel Ekuwem, and other officials based on a 2019 Annual General Report and Audited Financial Statement for the 2019 financial year released earlier in the year.

The Akwa Ibom state commissioner for economic development & Ibom Deep Sea Port, Mr. Akan Okon, stated this during an interactive session with journalists in Uyo on Wednesday, November 18 and provided an insight into the situation.

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He said an earlier audit report from the Auditor's General's office, was found to have contained erroneous data inputs which were officially withdrawn via a circular dated September 2, 2020, to all Ministries, Agencies, and Departments in the state.

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Mr. Okon speaking to journalists during the briefing, to debunk the earlier report. Photo credit: @Akwaibomstategovernment
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He noted that the Akwa Ibom public accounting format adopts IPSAS protocol which entails the usage of a thorough coding method which must be accurate and cannot be falsified, insisting that it was impossible for the government to spend any money outside the approved sum the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly approved as was assented to by the state governor.

His words:

“Every money that was spent in that financial year was in line with the provisions of the budget. There was no extra-budgetary expenditure outside what was originally approved by the House of Assembly.”
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The corrected version of the Annual Report of the Accountant General with audited financial statements for the year ended 31st December 2019, were distributed to journalists at the briefing.

It shows contrary to claims by a section of the media that the government, through the office of the SSG, spent a whooping N4.864 billion on the purchase of 15 cars, puts the actual cost of the 15 cars at a total cost of N738, 000,000.00.

The new document also revealed that the allegation that a whopping N5.04 billion was spent on the maintenance of the state aircraft, a Bombardier Global 5000, was only N2.5 billion.

Similarly, contrary to insinuations that the Government House spent N2.7 billion on fuel and lubricants, the corrected version of the audited financial report also reveals that only N1.3 billion was budgeted and approved for the purpose.

The original 2019 Annual Report of the state accountant general also shows that only N800 million was spent on the governor’s hospitality and traditional gifts, contrary to the N1.18 billion claims by the earlier report.

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Security services gulped N12 billion and not N13.28 even as only N75million was spent in 2019 on medical/clinic equipment for the Government House Clinic and not N153 million as claimed in the report.

The corrected version of the financial report also shows that tours and visits gulped only N20million and not N46.95 million that was reported.

Meanwhile, Governor Udom Emmanuel is leading a charge to reverse the hike in the price of staple food which has plagued Akwa Ibom state in the past few weeks.

This comes on the heels of the skyrocketing price of foodstuffs such as rice, garri, beans, onion, tomato, and others in local markets especially those ones produced within the state.

Concerned about the development, the governor directed the state commissioner for agriculture, Dr. Glory Edet, and her team at the agric ministry to initiate measures that will eventually crash the price of foodstuff to a reasonable extent, ahead of the yuletide.

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