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Senate orders 59 agencies to return over N300 billion misappropriated funds

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The Senate, yesterday, ordered 59 Federal Government agencies to return over N300 billion misappropriated funds into the federation account.

It gave a 60-day ultimatum within which all money illegally spent by the erring agencies between 2013 and 2015 should be recovered and remitted into the treasury

This was sequel to the consideration of the report of the Committee on Public Accounts on the yearly report of the Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) on accounts of the Federation for the year ended December 31, 2015 (Part Ii &1).

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The Senate panel, for over a year, had been investigating expenditures of Federal Government agencies from 2015 to 2018 based on audit report by the AGF.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo), in his presentation, disclosed that 114 MDAs were queried in the 2015 audit report, out of which 59 had their queries sustained after probe.

In the course of the investigation, Urhoghide said his panel observed, across board, the incessant violation of extant rules by Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

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The committee observed that the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) misappropriated N995 million; Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, N1.77 billion; Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), N68.9 billion, $2.3 million and €196,000.

Others are: Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), N4.35 billion; Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE), N8.84 billion; Ministry of Petroleum Resources, N821.9 million; National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), N1.88 billion and Mortgage Bank, N369 million.

The report said the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs disposed 22 vehicles to various beneficiaries in May 2015 and realised N5,215,500. Out of the 22 vehicles, eight were purchased on June 23 and August 18, 2014 for N106,560,000 and duly paid for. Less than one year after acquisition, six of the vehicles costing N90,870,000 were sold at a ridiculous sum of N2,172,600.

The Senate therefore ordered the sum of N61,436,400.00, being the understated disposable value of the vehicles, be recovered and paid back to treasury within 60 days.

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