STUDY IN CHINA

Thursday, August 13, 2015

N183billion NDDC funds diverted, says Auditor General

Auditor General of the Federation (AGF) Samuel Ukura
The Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, on Wednesday said that N183bn meant for the development of the Niger Delta was diverted.

He, therefore, recommended that the money should be recovered.

Ukura stated this when he submitted three special audit reports to the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa.

The Auditor General explained that the amount was discovered in the periodic checks carried out by his office on the activities and programmes of the Niger Delta Development Commission between 2008 and 2012.

He said N70.4bn was paid as mobilisation to various contractors who never reported to site while N90.4bn was the extra-budgetary expenditure “for Head and Sub-heads without approval by the legal authorities.”

He also said that N10bn was tax deductions without evidence of remittance to the Federal Inland Revenue Service; N5.8bn was payment to contractors for projects not executed, stalled or abandoned, while N1.2bn was the amount of taxes not deducted from contractors.

Ukura added that N3.1bn was transfers made to unauthorised accounts; N1.7bn was outstanding staff advances which were never accounted for and that N785m out of N1.1bn meant for the supply of furniture to various schools Delta State was diverted.

He explained that the fund for the furniture supply was certified paid, whereas inspection carried out by the Auditor General’s office revealed that no single chair was distributed during the period under review.

The Auditor General noted that there would be the desired peace, progress and development required in the Niger Delta if all activities and programmes of the NDDC were well implemented.

Ukura, who also submitted two special audit reports on the environmental activities in the Lake Chad region, raised the alarm that the water was drying up. He urged relevant government agencies to address it before the situation would degenerate.

He said, “The key message of the National Audit Report of Nigeria is that Lake Chad is drying up very fast from 250, 000 square kilometres in 1960 to just 1, 500 square kilometres at the moment. We must save Lake Chad from extinction.”

He said the submission of special audit reports was different from the submission of Annual Report of the Auditor General of the Federation at the end of every financial year which had been submitted up to 2013 while that of 2014 was in progress.

He said that the insurgency in the North-East and the militancy in the Niger Delta would be curtailed effectively if necessary attention was drawn to the environmental challenges in Lake Chad and the Niger Delta.

Punch

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