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Govt agencies under fire, as Reps probe N641.75bn unapproved expenditures



115 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the federal government are being investigated by the House of Representatives’ Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is looking into claims that they spent more than N600 billion on salaries and wages outside of the budget.

The change resulted from audit inquiries that the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation had made since 2018 up until the present.

Using circulars as a basis for action is against the law, according to the committee’s chairman Wole Oke, who spoke on Tuesday, in Abuja, to a group of auditors from the Accountant General of the Federation’s office, led by the acting AG, Mr. Sylva Okolieaboh.

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The Audit query had read thus: “Audit observed that 203 MDAs exceeded their personnel cost budget by N641 ,757455,172. 01, while 115 MDAs had zero personnel cost, even though there was budget allocation for them.

”The sources of extra funds for salaries and wages in 103 MDAs were not disclosed, Also, the reasons for zero personnel budget allocation for the 115 MDAs were not stated, despite the fact that the MDAs under defence had annual budgets approved for them”.

The query also stated that failure to justify the sources and reasons for “the expenditures totaling N641.75 billion means the officers in charge should be held pecuniary responsible,” while advising the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to investigate the sources of the extra budgetary expenditures and reasons for non-compliance with laid-out financial regulations.

Oke insisted that the MDAs erred by not following the extant laws.

“This is an aberation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, clear rape of financial regulation and Public Procurement Act.

“Nobody has the power to appropriate any money to any MDAs except the National Assembly through the budget from Mr President. Before the passage of Mr President’s appropriation bill, it has to pass through stages and after the passage, it has to be returned to Mr President for his ascent.”

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