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Senate berates BPE for N8.7b infraction in audit report

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[FILES] President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan (left), and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege. Photo/facebook/NgrSenate/

Orders agency to remit to Consolidated Revenue Fund

Follow queries issued against the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, the Senate has directed the Bureau to remit N8.7 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

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As alleged by a 2015 audit report, upheld by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts and adopted by the upper chamber, the BPE committed series of financial infractions between the 2014 and 2015 financial years, totaling N8,757,353,089.09 billion in violation of several rules of financial regulations.

One of such violations was the alleged non-remittance of N4,736, 932,467.67 billion dividends received on Federal Government Holdings, which was not remitted to the CRF.

The Senate punctured the submission by the BPE in response to the query that all dividends received on Federal Government Holdings in the year under review totalling N6,819,388,791 billion were transferred to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) in September 2015 for lack of documentary evidence.

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The report adopted by the Senate reads: “The Committee observed that there was no evidence provided by BPE to show that the dividend was remitted to the TSA. Consequently, the Committee recommends that the Bureau remit the sum of N4,736,932,467.67 billion to the CRF, evidence of which must be submitted to the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) and Senate Public Accounts Committee.”

BPE, in another query sustained and adopted by the Senate, was alleged to have diverted N2.5 billion proceeds of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) from Access and FCMB banks to the now liquated Aso Savings and Loans for the financing of Staff Housing Scheme, contrary to Financial Regulation 3205.

The query and Senate’s resolution reads, “Unauthorised transfer of N2.5 billion representing PHCN proceeds in Access Bank and FCMB Accounts were diverted to Aso Savings and Loans Plc, as a condition precedent to the Staff Cooperative Mortgage, contrary to Financial Regulation 3205.

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“The Committee observed that there was no approval from Debt Management Office (DMO) for the Bureau to secure a loan from Aso Savings just as it was also observed that there was collusion between Aso Savings and BPE.

“Consequently, the sum of N2.5 billion with all accrued interest be remitted to the CRF by BPE with evidence of remittance forwarded to the AGF and Senate Public Accounts Committee.

“All officers involved in the transaction should be surcharged for the loss of government revenue in line with Financial Regulations 3106 and 3115.”

The Bureau, as contained in the adopted report, was also accused of non-remittance of N1,135,139,199.77 billion earned interest on fixed deposits in various commercial banks.

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