Senate queries AGF for alleged opaqueness of N57.6b FG grants
The Senate Committee on Public Accounts has queried the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Idris Ahmed, for “failure to disclose details of N57.6 billion Federal Government grants.”
The current administration had, in 2017, released the lump sum to state governments, private and public companies as contributions to international organisations among others.
The panel made the complaint on the strength of the 2017 report of the Office of Auditor-General of the Federation. The query read: “Examination of Note 14 (Grants and Contributions), as well as the Statement of Financial Performance revealed the following:
“The budgetary provision for grants and contributions was not disclosed in the notes to the accounts. This contravenes the provisions of IPSAS 24 (Presentation of Budget Information in Financial Statements).
“The sum of ₦57,624,929,461.05 (Fifty-seven billion, six hundred and twenty-four million, nine hundred and twenty-nine thousand, four hundred and sixty-one naira, five kobo) was granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria as grants and contributions, which represent transfers to domestic and foreign governments, public and private owned companies, academic institutions and internationals for 2017.
“The breakdown and details of grants and contributions were not presented for audit. Non-disclosure of details of Federal Government grants and contributions will cast doubt on the authenticity and actual usage of such grants and contributions.”
“The incomplete disclosure of budgeted figures may result in extra-budgetary expenditures.”
“The Accountant-General was requested to disclose beneficiaries of grants and contributions for the year 2017. In his response, the Accountant-General stated that the list of beneficiaries of grants and contributions in the period under audit would be made available on Monday, March 18, 2019, but no list or details was received as at the time of this report.
“The Accountant-General is required to disclose the budget and beneficiaries of grants and contributions for the year 2017.” Representative of the Accountant-General, Segun Fehintola, failed to present any document.
But his principal, however, promised to provide the details at the next sitting of the committee, which probably holds this week.
Angered by the scenario, the panel chairman, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, sustained the query, insisting that the lawmakers must get the list during their next meeting.
“We must sustain this query because the observation was genuine, and you must bring the details of beneficiaries of the grants to the committee for vetting at the next public hearing,” he stated.
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