Tunde Opalana, Abuja
The Senate has asked the Office Accountant General of the Federation to fish out and punish its officials responsible for the loss of $274.2 million (N54.1bn) on external loan.
This followed the uncovering made in the report of Senate Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide which was approved by the Red Chamber before proceeding on annual recess.
The parliament consequently resolved that the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris should identify the officers responsible and sanctioned them for mismanagement of public fund and gross misconduct in accordance with Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations .
The Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations reads, ” An accounting officer who is queried for his failure to manage or spend public funds, effectively or who spends public money without due regard to economy contrary to FR 415 and fails to reply to the query , shall be removed from the schedule and be disciplined in accordance with the Public Service Rules.
The Committee hinged its resolution on a query to Accountant General of Federation from Auditor General of Federation titled ;” Inconsistent Exchange Loss Difference on External Loans”.
It reads, “During the examination of Note 51 and Appendix to Note 52, it was observed that there was a total exchange loss difference of $278.2 million (N54.1bn) reported by the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation in the document provided but this could not be found in the DMO document.
” Also, the criteria for arriving at the exchange loss difference of $274.2 million ( N54.1bn) was not disclosed.
“The Accountant General of the Federation in his response maintained that the closing balance is as provided by DMO while the exchange difference of $274.2 million (N54.1bn) was as a result of multiple currencies that were involved and single exchange rate.
“The Account-General of the Federation is this required to provide the source (s) of the exchange loss difference of $274.2 million (N54.1 billion ) with documentary evidence.
“Provide the calculations showing how these figures were arrived at and the reasons for the exchange loss for each of the figures should be explained .
“Disclose the source of Exchange difference in a note.”
The Senate therefore in its resolution after the presentation by Senator Urhoghide upheld the recommendation of the Committee and asked that officials involved be sanctioned.
The report is 2015 Auditor General of the Federation report on Financial Statement of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Federation Account.