Saturday, 16 October 2021 06:25

Senate Probes Alleged N151.3bn Secret Withdrawal By Budget Office

The Senate has commenced investigation into alleged secret withdrawal of N151 billion from the Federation Account by the Budget Office.

It was gathered that the withdrawal took place in 2015.

Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide is relying on a 2016 Audit Report submitted to the National Assembly by Office of Auditor of the Federation.

But the budget office claimed that the N151 billion reported in the Auditor General’s report  was neither received nor spent by the agency.

The budget office in a written response said, “The N151 billion reported in the Auditor General Report was neither received not spent by the Budget Office . Hence the figure was not recorded in the relevant Budget Office books.

The Office of the Auditor General in its query had said, “The  Budget  Office  of  the  Federation  expended  the  sum  of  N151,371,407,619.10 (One  hundred  and  fifty-one  billion,  three  hundred  and  seventy-one  million,  four  hundred and  seven  thousand,  six  hundred  and  nineteen  naira,  ten  kobo)  above  its  approved budget  for  the  year  2015.

“This  was  extra budgetary  spending  incurred  without  recourse to  the  National  Assembly,  in  contravention  of  Section  80(2)  of  the  Constitution  of  the Federal  Republic  of  Nigeria  1999  (as  amended)  which  stipulates  that  “no  moneys  shall be  withdrawn  from  the  CRF  of  the  Federation  except  to  meet  expenditure  that  is charged  upon  the  fund  by  this  Constitution  or  where  the  issues  of  those  moneys  have been  authorized  by  an  Appropriation  Act,  Supplementary  Appropriation  Act  or  an  Act passed  in pursuance of  Section 81 of this Constitution”. In  view  of  this,  it  is  difficult  to  accept  the  extra  budgetary  expenditure  of N151,371,407,619.10  as  a proper  and  legitimate charge against  public funds.”

 

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