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PLSI indicts 70 MDAs over failure to account for N455b in 2019 budget

By Joke Falaju, Abuja
15 February 2022   |   4:13 am
The Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) has revealed that 70 Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) failed to account for N455 billion or 20 per cent of the 2019 budget.

The Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) has revealed that 70 Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) failed to account for N455 billion or 20 per cent of the 2019 budget.

It revealed that of the N2.2 trillion released to the 70 MDAs it analysed, they could not account for a total of N455 billion.

The report showed that the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Keffi was unable to account for N17.7 billion, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development failed to account for N60.6 billion, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing yet to account for N1.2 billion, while the Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority Owerri could not account for N5.85 billion.

Others are Bank of Agriculture (N350m), Code of Conduct Tribunal (N516.5m); Council for Legal Education (N4.4b); Department of Petroleum Resources (N275.6m); Federal Capital Territory Administration (N5.1b) and 61 others.

Executive Director PLSI, Olusegun Elemo, who disclosed this, yesterday, at a virtual media briefing to unveil its findings, also revealed that the 2019 audit highlighted about 394 audit issues, 603 risks on public finance management, 342 management responses and 1,528 audit recommendations drawn from the report.

He lamented the 20 per cent performance of the 2019 budget despite revenue crisis in the country and stressed the need for the Federal Government to block all leakages.

“It is sad that the Federal Government has since 2015 refused to enact a new audit legal framework to strengthen the Office of the Audit-General for the Federation and enhance its fight against corruption for which President Muhammadu Buhari had expressed his commitment.

“The Buhari administration should stop relying on the 1956 Audit Ordinance Act and learn from subnational governments in the country, most of which enacted progressive audit legal frameworks between June and December 2021.

“It is not an Herculean task if leaders are committed to prudent management of public resources, especially in the face of persistent revenue shortfall and increasing debt burden,” he said.

Elemo further stressed the need to leverage public sector audit instrument to improve transparency and accountability in the management and utilisation of public funds in the country.

He charged the National Assembly and its Public Accounts Committees to ensure that all MDAs queried in the report of the Auditor-General respond the queries and ensure that missing public funds were recovered.

“In analysing the 2019 Audit Report of the Federation, we linked government agencies budgetary provisions in 2019 to actual funds released and provided insight into the proportion of funds released that the 70 MDAs have not accounted for,” he added.