Abuja – The Senate on Tuesday said that it would probe the report of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF) which alleged embezzlement and extra budgetary expenditure amounting to over N3.3 trillion.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Sen. Aliyu Sabi, who announced this to newsmen in Abuja, said that the allegations in the report of the AGF were not indictments.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the AGF, Mr Samuel Ukura, had on Monday presented the 2014 annual Audit Report to the Clerk to the National Assembly.
The report had alleged that about N3.2 trillion due for the Federation Account was not remitted by the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation (NNPC).
The report also alleged that some other revenue generating Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) also spent their internally generated revenue without approval.
The AGF’s report also alleged that about N10 billion was expended by the National Assembly without raising payment vouchers, a contravention of the nation’s financial policy.
The senate spokesman said that the upper chamber would probe the report of the AGF and invite all the agencies involved to ascertain if the report was factual or not.
“ Without holding forte for the past assemblies, I want to say that it is not as if they have not been doing anything about the past Audit Reports.
“ Perhaps they have not taken their action up to the scale that would have made a huge impact that people want to see. If that is what the Auditor-General means, I agree with him.
“The Auditor-General is raising a query, it is not an indictment. So, when he raises his queries, the essence of the Public Accounts Committee is to invite those parties involved in the query.
“And, through the instruments of their own work, investigate all the issues by seeking for clarification and at the end of the day, where they have infractions, or infringement on certain procedures, they mete out appropriate sanctions,” he said.
Sabi said that the report was the beginning of a process and that the process would be concluded with an investigation by the senate.
He said that the 8th Senate would live up to its promise of accountability and, as such, would not cover up any act of corruption.
According to him, the senate’s investigation into the operation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) is a clear example of the dedication of the senate to its work.
“Through that exercise, we were able to save the country N7 billion; there are similar works that had been done.
“We want to say that since we have chosen to be different, we urge Nigerians to wait and see what we will make out of the investigation.
“If oversight functions are carried out properly, some of these queries that we talk about will begin to reduce because the essence is to see infractions before they happen.
“We, as lawmakers, will stop it before another institution discovers the anomalies and bring them to our notice.
“We have demonstrated our capacity to match our words with our actions. Wait and see, it’s a promise and we have four years to prove that we mean business,” he said.
NAN reports that the AGF’s report alleged that N36 billion was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser for the rehabilitation and construction of dams instead of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Among other things, the report added that N2.8 billion was spent for the procurement of hand sanitizers for schools and critical public places, to tackle the Ebola epidemic while N31 billion was spent on procuring fertilizer. (NAN)