Senate Discovers N97 Billion Illegal Funds Issued To INEC, Nigerian Army And Others
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigerian Army, Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), and others illegally collected N76 billion, according to the Senate.
The funds were taken from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation by the agencies, but it was not refunded.
They came from the husked brown rice levy of 25%, the 1% Comprehension Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) levy, the 15% wheat grain levy, and the rice levy of 10%.
The Senate Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, submitted the 2015 Auditor General’s report, which was approved by the upper chamber.
According to the report, N922.4 million was taken as a loan from the 25% husked brown rice levy; N7 billion was taken as a loan from the 1% CISS levy, and N10 billion was taken as a loan by INEC to finance the 2015 elections.
On January 12, 2015, N17.92 billion was released to INEC as a loan, but it was never repaid, according to the records. The Nigerian Army, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the Revitalisation of Universities Infrastructures Account, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development all received N31.4 billion from the 15% wheat grain levy.
The Nigerian Army received N4.7 billion to fund some of its activities; the National Youth Service Corps received N6.4 billion to fund its activities; the Revitalisation of Universities Infrastructures Account received N10 billion to fund Federal Universities, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development received N10.2 billion to fund the 2013 dry season farming.
As a result, the Senate directed the Office of the Accountant General to begin the loan recovery process and to prevent any further withdrawals from the affected accounts without legislative approval.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been indicted by the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts for allegedly refusing to account for billions of naira in revenue.
NIMASA was found wanting by the Wole Oke-led committee, which investigated alleged reluctance by over 300 non-treasury financed Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to return audited accounts from 2014–2018 to the Auditor General of the Federation.
The Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) was also indicted for allegedly failing to render its 2018 account.
The National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) was also chastised by the lawmakers, with audited accounts from 2006 to 2018 still outstanding.