From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
An audit report by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) has indicted the management of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) over an alleged N9.424 billion “unexplained” expenditure in the 2019 financial year.
Consequently, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Account ( PAC) has summoned the Clerk of the National Assembly (CNA), Amos Ojo, to appear before it after the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The audit report said about N5.521 billion of the expenditure were credited to the House of Representatives, N3.595 billion to the senate and N307.676 million was credited to the National Assembly Service Commission.
The audit report with reference AuGF/AR.2019/02 and addressed to the clerk to the National Assembly and dated 15th September 2021 was signed by the Auditor General of the Federation, Adolphus Aghughu.
It was titled: “Auditor General for the Federation annual report on non-compliance/internal control weaknesses issues in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the year ended 31st December 2019.”
The report said N2.550 billion was given to members of the House as running costs between July and December 2019. It noted that there was no evidence of what the fund was utilised, neither was it retired. Similarly, the audit queries stated that N258 million was given to 59 staff of the House and another N107.912 million was given to two staff for repairs and maintenance of unspecified residential quarters.
It further stated that N1,594,807,097 was paid to revenue agencies between February and December 2019 for sundry matters, without receipt from the agencies.
The report, which queried the payment of N1,010,598,610 from the salary account of the House without payment vouchers, directed the Clerk to the National Assembly, Amos Ojo, to provide explanation for the irregularities and ensure that the money is returned to government treasury.
Furthermore, the audit report noted that N123.320 million and N176.267 million deducted from senators salary arrears between July and December 2019, as vehicle loans and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) from staff salaries, respectively were not remitted to the appropriate authority. The report added that N657.757 million was paid for the supply of vehicles and other office equipment, in 16 payment vouchers that were not cleared by internal audit, against extant law, while another N423.370 million was spent for the supply of utility vehicles and production of National Assembly logo between August and November 2019 , from the capital account without relevant document.