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Senate orders NBET to remit N132m spent on drivers’ uniforms, non-existent training

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[FILES] President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan (left), and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege

The Senate has directed the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc. (NBET) to refund N132,066,948.00 million it claimed it used on drivers’ uniforms, overseas training, and others into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

The directive came against the backdrop of queries issued to that effect by the Auditor General of the Federation in the 2015 Audit Report.

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The sum, as stated in the queries, sustained by the Committee on Public Accounts and adopted by the Senate, is made up of N95.320 million spent on overseas training for staff, which never took place; N34.163 million being payments for unverifiable services, and N2.583 million spent for the production of uniforms for outsourced drivers.

The queries read: “Payment of the sum of N34,163,948.00 million without internal audit checking for unverifiable services in violation of extant financial regulations.

“Payment of N2,583,000.00 million to a contractor for the production of uniforms for outsourced drivers who were supposed to be kitted by their firm and not NBET.

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“Expenditure of the sum of N95,320,000.00 million for overseas training of staff against Presidential directive and without documentary evidence.”

The Senate, in adopting the report as recommended by its Committee on Public Accounts, directed NBET to remit the purported N132 million back into the CRF.

Specifically, on the N2.583 million expended on uniforms for outsourced drivers, the Senate said: “Provision of uniform to outsourced drivers is illegal. The contractor is supposed to provide uniforms for his staff and not NBET.

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“NBET should, therefore, refund the sum of N2.583 million to government coffers and evidence of refund submitted to the Senate Public Accounts Committee in accordance with Financial Regulations 3102, 3103, and 3115.”

“N95 million purportedly expended on overseas training for staff between October and November 2014, which was in violation of Presidential directive of February 2014 and which has no documentary evidence, should be refunded into the CRF. Unaudited payment of N34.163 million for unverifiable services should also be refunded into the CRF.

“The Accounting Officer who authorised the payment should be removed from his/her schedule according to Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulation for contravening the provision of Financial Regulation 1705 and evidence of compliance should be forwarded to the Auditor General as well as the Senate Public Accounts Committee.”

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