Reps Verify Finance Ministry’s Proof Of N162m Expenses
The House of Representatives is verifying information and documents provided by the Federal Ministry of Finance in response to queries issued by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation on expenses between 2015 and 2016 amounting to N161.99m.
The money was spent on contract awards and cash advances to officials of the ministry for staff sporting events in 2015 and 2016.
The House Committee on Public Accounts, on Friday, set up a subcommittee to verify the details provided by the ministry in response to the queries.
The committee also directed the ministry to produce all the officers given various cash advances without proper retirement receipts in compliance with Federal Government’s financial regulations.
The officials are to appear before the lawmakers and explain their failure to follow the rules.
Chairman of the committee, Mr Wole Oke, issued the summons when top officials of the ministry, led by the Permanent Secretary, Mahmoud Isah-Dutse, appeared before the lawmakers.
In the queries read out by the officials of the OAuGF, a contract worth N2,768,769 was awarded without appropriate quotations from the contractor, even though the contractor got a ‘Certificate of No Objection’ to execute the project.
Another N16,858,800 was released to the ministry’s members of staff in 2016 as advances and was not retired.
According to the written submission by the ministry, a payment of N12.21m was made to an individual. The lawmakers had asked for the identity of the person and why such amount would be paid to one person.
The Deputy Director, Accounts, Federal Ministry of Finance, Roseline Kolade, said the sum was given to one Mr Oyebamiji Taiwo, which was used to pay allowances to staff members who participated in a sporting event held in Imo State in 2015.
Another query was on N128.7m allegedly spent on newspaper advertorial for the publication of the Federation Account Allocation Committee’s disbursement to the three tiers of government for a particular month.
There was another N18.3m said to have been spent on vehicle maintenance by a civil servant, Mr Baweyi John, from his personal funds in 2016, whereas only about N6.4m could be verified as spent on the vehicle.