This came as the Senate Special Committee on Public Accounts gave the Audit-General a matching order to henceforth submit all certificates of clearance of audited reports of MDAs to the committee for proper verification.
Speaking separately at a one-day briefing for accounting officers of federal MDAs, organized by the Senate Committee, the Auditor- General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, represented by a director in his office, Isaac Olurotimi Dada, accused many of the MDAs of non- submission of annual audited reports from 2009 to 2014.
Ukura, who forwarded his office reports indicting the MDAs to the Senate, through the committee, insisted that they had not lived up to expectation in the submission of their audited reports within the period under review.
But the agencies countered his claim with submission of the reports with evidence . CBN Deputy – Governor ( Operations) , Bayo Adelabu, who represented the governor, Godwin Emefiele, in particular, debunked the claim made in the report of the Auditor- General that the apex bank didn’t make available its audited reports of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, declaring that its audited reports for the years listed, had long been submitted to the office of the Auditor-Genera,l based on queries raised to that effect.
He told the committee that in line with section 65 (3d) of 1999 constitution as amended and Act of parliament of 2007, the apex bank submitted its annual reports of any previous year on February 28 of every year.
According to him, the claim made in the report of the Auditor- General, as regards annual report of CBN from 2010 to 2014, was false as the apex bank had submitted all the reports in 2014, based on queries issued by the Auditor- General’s office. A submission representative of the Auditor- General of the Federation couldn’t countered when asked by the committee to respond.
Aside from CBN, other agencies of government, such as the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Ports Authority, Tertiary Education Trust Fund ,TETFUND, among others, also debunked claims made by the Auditor- General against them on non-submission of annual reports between 2009 and 2014.
Pressed for response by the committee to the submissions of the agencies, Ukura said reports forwarded to the Senate on annual reports of the various government agencies were based on available documents on findings made.
To this end, committee slammed the Auditor- General of the Federation for what it described as gross negligence on audited annual reports of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of the federal government from 2009 to 2014. Consequently, it ordered the Auditor- General to issue clearance certificates to government agencies which annual audited reports had been cleared .
The committee’s chairman, Senator Andy Uba ( PDP, Anambra South), accused Mr Ukura’s representative of giving them unsatisfactory explanations, in spite of earlier claims to be competent to represent his boss. “Your boss, who is found of declaring on the television or radio that his office had completed audited work on annual reports of the MDAs and always alleging that it is the National Assembly that is not working on such reports, is not here today for the needed harmonization of these conflicting reports.
Even you here are not competent going by your responses so far,” said the committee chairman. He declared that for the needed harmonization to be seen to have been done on the conflicting reports, the Auditor-General should issue clearance certificate to agencies which annual reports had been cleared up to 2014 before the next meeting with the committee.
In his own comment, a member of the committee, Senator Akpan Bassey ( PDP Akwa – Ibom North East), accused the Auditor-General of avoiding the meeting because of alleged wrongdoing in the reports earlier forwarded to the Senate on annual reports of the agencies. He said: “Going by what has unfolded itself here today, as far as this committee is concerned, the Auditor-General deliberately ran away and not because of any other important engagement elsewhere.’’.