President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

How MDAs spent ₦26.6bn taxpayers’ money without vouchers –Auditor-General

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Describing the high level of financial irresponsibility and recklessness by some of the Nigerian Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Mr. Anthony Ayine, the Auditor-General of the Federation, has said the errant MDAs misappropriated N26.606billion taxpayers’ money in 2017 without payment vouchers or requisite approvals for such expenditures.

Mr. Ayine said in a report that massive financial infractions are still prevalent in many MDAs, despite the anti-corruption stance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

He said: “We reviewed the payment procedures and policies in MDAs against the standing regulations and policies of the Federal Government and found out that several payments totalling ₦26,604,515,374.55 were made with a total of 140 infractions identified in the payments made by the MDAs.

“The sum of N8,608,588,928.68 was expended in 25 infractions without presenting payment vouchers to justify the payments made in the transactions, which is contrary to the provisions of FR 601, which states that ‘all payment entries in the cash book/accounts shall be vouched for on the prescribed treasury forms.’

“Vouchers shall be made out in favour of the person or persons to whom the money is actually due. Under no circumstances shall a cheque be raised or cash paid for services for which a voucher has not been raised.”

The Auditor-General of the Federation further disclosed that a total of 10 MDAs embarked on international travels and training without requisite approval from the appropriate authorities as specified in Extant Circulars, thereby, expending the sum of N2,660,420,450.05 on international travels despite strict restriction placed on it.

“Furthermore, the sum of N2,789,475,927.84 was expended without providing supporting documents to the payment vouchers in 22 infractions in the MDAs,” he stated.

According to him, among the MDAs that committed the massive financial malfeasance fell under the category of those that had outstanding payment vouchers/missing payment vouchers/accounting records not presented for audit were led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with N4.385billion.

Others are Federal Universities of Technology, Akure and Owerri with N237.096million and N188.768million, respectively.

In another entry, FUT Owerri reportedly made a payment of N1.050billion without any supporting document, he said.

The Federal University of Lokoja also topped the list of MDAs that misapplied funds with N707.625million.

Ayine stated that the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) led the MDAs that made irregular payments with N 513.923 million, Federal University of Petroleum Resources with N350.412million, National Examinations Council (NECO), N298.350million.

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as well spent N2.193billion on international travels, in the year under review without approval, the Auditor-General said.

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