Friday, 2 December 2016

Nigeria Audits 33 Companies, Uncovers N450b Unremitted Revenue


The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeousun,
made the announcement on Thursday in
Abuja at a news conference.
She said that an audit had been carried out
on the agencies in compliance with the
Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007.
The minister said that a recovery
committee headed by the Accountant
General of the Federation had been set up
to recover the money from the agencies.
Mrs. Adeosun noted, however, that some of
the agencies had started returning various
sums, saying that N640 million had been
received from the Nigeria Shippers Council.
“The total independent revenue generated
between January and October, 2016 was
N272.03 billion but there is a projected
increase to N811.03 billion as we recover
amounts owed.’’
She said the audit revealed that there was a
lot of non-remittances and under-
remittances of operating surpluses and that
some agencies were operating without an
approved budget.
The minister added that there was
overstating of budget and spending above
budgeted amount, failure to reconcile
accounts and existence of irreconcilable
differences.
“The audit also showed that there was
under-reporting of revenues, failure to
submit audited financial statements,
payroll fraud and exaggeration of payroll
costs, over-payment of staff salaries and
abuse of personnel grants,” she said.
The minister said while there was
unapproved monetisation of medical and
other allowances, there was also non-
compliance with the PPA and failure to
convert to IPSAS accounting.
IPSAS stands for International Public
Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
According to her, some of the agencies
affected are the Nigerian Communications
Commission, Nigerian Ports Authority and
Corporate Affairs Commission.
Others are the Nigerian Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency,
Nigerian Export-Import Bank, Federal
Airports Authority of Nigeria and National
Open University of Nigeria.
Also affected are the Nigerian Railway
Corporation, West African Examination
Council, Joint Administrations and
Matriculation Board and the National
Hospital, Abuja among others.
Mrs. Adeosun said that some of the audit
reports had been sent to the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“The financial regulations are very clear,
where audit reports have indicted some of
the officers, some of these audit reports are
going to the EFCC.
“Some of the audit findings were so serious
that the decision was taken that some of
those particular reports must go to the
EFCC.
“Remember that we are not a prosecuting
agency, ours is to investigate and then we
hand it over to the relevant agencies,” she
said.
The minister said that the agencies that
defaulted had been asked to come up with
their repayment proposals to see how they
could be made to repay the money.
“We know that in some cases that money
would have already been spent so they will
now give us a proposal of how they are
going to repay but the money has to be
paid.
“We are also looking at their Treasury
Single Account (TSA) to understand how
much money they actually have because in
some cases these surpluses are in their
accounts.
“Our plan is not to grind to a halt the
activities of any agency but to institute
fiscal discipline in all the agencies,’’ the
minister stated.
Mrs. Adeosun also said that a circular was
issued on November 22, requesting
submission of estimates of revenues and
expenses for the next three financial years.
Other documents that were requested are
the annual budget which must be IPSAS
compliant and projected operating
surpluses for review and approval.
According to her, a review team has also
been set up to evaluate submitted estimates
before budget submission to the National
Assembly.
She said that failure to comply with the
provision of the FRA to review and
approve their budgets as advised would be
restricted to payment of salaries only until
the budget was regularised.
“We have the National Assembly’s support
that if an agency does not have its budget
approved; it really has no business
spending.
“It is wrong for an agency to operate
without a budget. It is public money and
that means that the agency can do literally
anything it wants and that is wrong.
“It is for those agencies who know that
they do not want to be in the situation
where they can only pay salaries to do the
right thing, everybody knows the rule.’’
She said further that a circular on the
inclusion of 92 additional corporations,
agencies and government owned
companies to the schedule of the Act had
also been issued.
According to the minister, the exercise is
an ongoing process and all agencies will
eventually be audited. (NAN)
Saharareporters


SHARE THIS

0 comments: