The Senate has indicted the Budget Office of the Federation, Ministry of Information , Ministry of Interior and 36 other Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over un-retired advances to the Federation Account.
The indictment was sequel to the consideration of the 2015 Auditor General’s Report by the Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, a member of the opposition in the National Assembly.
In the resolution, the upper chamber demanded the sanctioning of the Accounting Officers of the said MDAs in accordance with the provisions of Rule 3124 of the Financial Regulations.
According to the Auditor General’s report, some MDAs showed an increase in outstanding advances to the tune of N2,296,567,084.37 over 2014 comparative figures while others showed no movement contrary to the provisions of the extant regulations which require prompt retirement of advances. “The above implies that:
There is a violation of Financial Regulations (2009) Nos.1404,1405,1416,1419 and 1420 which require prompt retirement of advances.
“The MDAs that had previous year advances that were not retired were granting additional advances.
“The huge outstanding advances imply a breakdown of internal controls over the issuance of advances.
“The non-retirement of advances as at when due should be addressed by the Accountant-General of the Federation with strict sanctions,” the report read.
However, according to the committee, the Account-General did not respond to this query. The Committee observed that nonresponse to a query means acceptance of the infractions contained therein and this is again a violation of the Financial Regulations.
The Committee recommended that the Accounting Officers of the MDAs should be sanctioned in accordance with the provisions of Rule 3124 of Financial Regulations which states that: “A Public Officer who fails to respond to a query issued to him within 21 days for non-retirement of advances or imprests shall be surcharged and the total amount involved recovered.”
Other agencies involved in the infractions are National Industrial Court, Ministry of Communication Technology, High Court of Justice, FCT, Sharia Court of Appeal, Abuja, National Planning Commission (NPC) and Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Others are the Federal Ministry of Culture and National Orientation, Public Complaints Commission, Federal Civil Service Commission, Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Nigeria Immigration Office and Police Service Commission.