The report has revealed how about N28.4billion, meant for the development of the nation’s natural resources, was diverted into completely unrelated ventures.
Uche Usim, Abuja
More revelations have continued to emerge from the 2016 audit report/financial statement of the Federal Government with the latest being the diversion of about N28 billion natural resources development fund into sundry projects.
The report has revealed how about N28.4billion, meant for the development of the nation’s natural resources, was diverted into completely unrelated ventures. The document, prepared by the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Mr Anthony Ayine, was recently submitted to the National Assembly as required by law.
The latest revelation was contained in the Development of Natural Resources segment of the report, where Ayine said examination of Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), showed that about N48.6 billion was received into the Ecological Fund in the year (2016) as the required 3 per cent deduction from the federation account for the Development of Natural Resources.
“It was observed that the sum of N28.4billion, representing about 58 per cent, was paid out of the fund as loan to carry out various activities that are not related to development of natural resources.
“We recommend that henceforth, the Federal Government deploys these special funds only for the stated objectives of the funds. We note that the various withdrawals from funds by the Federal Government are stated to be borrowings. “We further observed that the arrangements for the repayment of these funds or borrowings are unclear.
“For example, the 2017 Budget did not include any appropriations for the repayment of these borrowings.
“We therefore further recommend that arrangements are clarified immediately, for the repayment of any funds not disbursed for the prescribed purposes of these funds.”
Ayine sheds more light on the financial statement prepared by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation(OAGF) looks like: “The 2016 signed Financial Statements were first submitted to my Office by the Accountant-General of the Federation on June 30, 2017 in compliance with Section 24 of the Finance Control and Management Act LFN 2004 (FCMA). The financial statements were later resubmitted on the September 29, 2017 and on December 29, 2017 with another resubmission made on January 16, 2018 and the final version on March 20, 2018.
“The submission of fresh financial statements was as a result of material errors and misstatements observed in each submission during audit review. Each fresh submission, therefore, resulted in a change in the statutory timeline for the Auditor-General to sub- mit his annual report to the National Assembly.
“It is commendable that the Accountant-General made efforts with the initial submission of financial statements in a bid to comply with the statutory timelines within Section 24 of the FCMA. The timing of the final submission however falls short of the provisions of Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 Section 49(1) which requires that the Federal Government shall publish their audited accounts not later than six months following the end of the financial year…”