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Senate asks AGF to sanction his officers over $274.2m loss

The Senate has uncovered how some officials of the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation made Nigeria to lose the sum of $274.2 million (N54.1bn) on external loans. This discovery is contained in the report of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, which was considered and approved by the Red Chamber before proceeding on annual recess last week.

The report was earlier presented to the apex legislative Chamber for consideration and approval a fortnight ago by the Committee Chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South). While considering the document, the Senate in its resolution, asked the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris to identify the officers responsible and sanction them for mismanagement of public funds and gross misconduct, in accordance with Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations. The Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations reads: “An accounting officer who is queried for his failure to manage or spend public funds, effectively or who spends public money without due regard to economy, contrary to FR 415 and fails to reply to the query, shall be removed from the schedule and be disciplined in accordance with the Public Service Rules.” The query to the Accountant- General of Federation from the Auditor-General of the Fed-eration is titled: “Inconsistent Exchange Loss Difference on External Loans”.

It reads: “During the examination of Note 51 and Appendix to Note 52, it was observed that there was a total exchange loss difference of $278.2 million (N54.1bn) reported by the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation in the document provided but this could not be found in the DMO document. “Also, the criteria for arriving at the exchange loss difference of $274.2 million (N54.1bn) were not disclosed. “The Accountant General of the Federation in his response maintained that the closing balance is as provided by DMO while the exchange difference of $274.2 million (N54.1bn) was as a result of multiple currencies that were involved and single exchange rate. “The Account-General of the Federation is required to provide the source (s) of the exchange loss difference of $274.2 million (N54.1 billion ) with documentary evidence.

“Provide the calculations showing how these figures were arrived at and the reasons for the exchange loss for each of the figures should be explained. “Disclose the source of the exchange difference in a note.” Consequently, in its resolution after the presentation by Senator Urhoghide, the Senate upheld the recommendation of the Committee for officials involved to be sanctioned. The 2015 Auditor-General of the Federation report on the Financial Statement of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Federation Account.

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