Nigerian Senate Asks Fashola To Refund N692million Spent on Non-Executed Projects

The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC), chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, investigated the AuGF report and reported its conclusions to Senate leadership.

The Nigerian Senate has asked the Federal Ministry of Works under Babatunde Fashola, a former Lagos State governor, to refund the N692million spent on some non-executed projects in 2018 by the ministry back to the federation account.

The ministry claimed the funds were used to purchase vehicles, computer accessories, photocopying, and the production and airing of a special video documentary which were not purchased, according to the Federation's Auditor General's 2018 report.

The Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC), chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, investigated the AuGF report and reported its conclusions to Senate leadership.

The SPAC report was discussed in plenary, and the red chamber agreed with the Urhoghide-led panel's recommendations.

The committee discovered that a contract for N343 million was given without due process for the acquisition of project monitoring vehicles.

It was also established that the automobiles had not been supplied.

Another contract was also issued for services and direct procurement of vehicle spare parts, computer accessories, and photocopying machine parts, according to the panel.

It further stated that another contract for the design of Nigerian roads and bridges for N139million did not follow the appropriate process.

Furthermore, N210million designated for documentation purposes was separated into N130 million and N80 million and placed in a staff account in contravention of the Financial Regulation.

The Committee sent a series of invitations to the Ministry of Works to refute the claim made by the Federation's Auditor General.

The invites were disregarded by Ministry officials, leaving the Committee with no choice except to maintain the AuGF's position.

The query read: “Audit observed that the sum of N343 million was paid for the purchase of 36 project monitoring vehicles without following due process.

“Further examination revealed that the 36 vehicles were not received into the store as there was no document to show such delivery.”

“Audit observed that advances in the sum of N139 million were granted on service and direct purchase of vehicles spare part, computer accessories, photocopying machine parts for designing of Nigerian roads and bridges.

“There was no store record of those items to show that they were purchased,” another query added.

The third query continued: “Audit observed that N210 million meant for documentary was split into N130 million and N80 million paid into a staff account contravening FR 713.

“Further examination revealed that the sum of N130 million was capturing developmental projects which included other ministries like: Finance, Agriculture, Transport, Petroleum Resources, Mines and Steel and Trade and investment.

“There was no receipt or retirement particulars attached to the payment vouchers to justify the payment.

“The approval for the sum of N80 million was made to the Director of Finance and Account which was above his approval limit. There was no evidence to show who the producer of the documentary was or whether they were selected on a competitive basis. There was no evidence to show the work was actually done.”

Credit:  Sahara Reporters.


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