N9b Missing at Nigeria's National Assembly

The Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) has charged the National Assembly's management and the National Assembly Service Commission with incurring an unaccounted-for N9.424 billion expenditure in the 2019 financial year.

In five audit inquiries, around N5.521 billion was credited to the House of Representatives; in seven audit queries, N3.595 billion was credited to the Senate; and in two audit queries, N307.676 million was credited to the National Assembly Service Commission.

Senate
Senate

The queries are contained in the ‘AuGF Annual Report on Non-compliance/Internal Control Weakness Issues in Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the Year Ended December 31, 2019’.

According to the report, N2.550 billion was granted to members of the House of Representatives as running cost between July and December 2019 without evidence to show what the funds were used for, neither was the money retired.

It also said N258 million was given to 59 staff of the House, while another N107.912 million was given to two staff for repairs and maintenance of unspecified residential quarters, denying the government of the statutory Value Added Tax (VAT) and Withholding Tax (WHT) of N10,791,296 accruable, if the work had been awarded to contractors.

The report (reference number AuGF/AR.2019/02), addressed to the Clerk of the National Assembly and dated September 15, 2021, was signed by the AuGF, Adolphus Aghughu.

The report said N1,594,807,097.83 was paid to revenue authorities between February and December 2019 as Pay As You Earn (six members); Car loan (five members); and housing loan (six members) without acknowledgement receipts from relevant revenue authorities.

It also queried payment of N1,010,598,610.97 from the salary account of the House without vouchers as required by law and asked the Clerk to explain the irregularities and ensure the amount involved is returned to the government treasury.

It indicted the National Assembly Service Commission for failure to retire about N31.927 million cash advance granted to 59 staff of the commission and failure to remit one per cent stamp duty of N276,749,014.68.

It said further that about N219.645 million deducted as housing loans from some Senators were not remitted.

“The sum of N219,645,567.08 was deducted from 107 senators’ salary arrears between July and December 2019 as housing loan and there was no evidence to show that the above amount was remitted to the Treasury,” the report states.

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