The Auditor-General of the Federation has faulted the 2016 Financial Statement of the federal government as having several undisclosed revenues and poorly disclosed expenditures.
In the report submitted to the National Assembly, Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine, the AuGF expressed disappointment at the shoddy job by the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Ahmed Idris, which led to the late submission of the report to the National Assembly.
According to Ayine, the non-disclosure and non-remittance of revenues by some agencies of government into its coffers has become a critical factor militating against the economy.
The report indicated that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, paid only marginal oil export revenue into the Federation Account, in the year under consideration.
The report said, “J V Cash calls are funds injected into Joint Ventures by the NNPC on behalf of the Federation. These funds are obtained out of revenues accruing to the Federation that would otherwise have been paid onto the Federation Account for allocation to the three tiers of government.
“First, it is unclear how and where the asset values of these investments in Joint Ventures on behalf of the Federation are determined and reported. Second, from the analysis and review of the Revenue and Account documents presented by the Crude Oil Marketing Department, COMD, of the NNPC in respect of sales of crude oil and gas and payment of JV Cash Call funding, it was observed that only a marginal sum was returned as revenue from Export of Crude Oil and Gas revenue inflows to the Federation Account for January to December, 2016.
“From the total receipts by NNPC of US$2,399,642,012.90 (N569,143,803,033.21 from export sales of crude oil and gas for the year, a total amount of US$2,348,880,056.93 (N517,354,153,159.77) was paid out to fund JV Cash Calls
“It should be noted, that the above JV Cash Calls deducted from the proceeds from export oil and gas sales did not include an amount of N355,173,305,887.21 also paid from the receipts from Domestic Crude oil sales as JV cash calls”
Govt contributes 55% equity, lifts 35% oil
The report said further that the government’s share of oil lifting was only 35 percent of oil production, while its equity contribution was 55 per cent.
It said, “The analysis of the total government lifting and its relation to the total production for the year from the schedules and document presented by the Crude Oil Marketing Department, COMD, revealed a comparably low ratio of 35%, considering the fact that government’s lowest contributory ratio (NNPC Equity %) in all of the Joint Ventures is 55%, having this low lifting ratio may indicate inappropriate lifting figure for the government.”
Non-disclosure of NNPC revenue
The AuGF said his office also discovered poor disclosure of receipts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC.
“First, it was observed from Note 1 to the financial statements that the breakdown of sources that made up the net receipts of N1,325,774,477,847.94 from NNPC was not disclosed. Furthermore, we observed that the net receipt per an extract schedule from the Federation Account (Revenue from NNPC) showed a total receipt of N797,749,790,090.74, resulting in a difference of N528,024,687,757.20 in comparison with the N1,325,774,477.847.94 earlier disclosed,” he said.
He added, “The component of the Financial statements and Note 9 thereon revealed that a total of N578,931,562.10 was recorded as, “Other Revenue‟ for the year January to December 2016, which raised the following issues:
“There was a failure to define in clear terms what constitutes Other Revenue in line with disclosure requirements. This is especially key for MDAs that are not Revenue generating, but had substantial figures recorded as Other Revenue.
“Some MDAs recorded Nil figures as Other Revenue which could not be justified considering the nature and activities of these MDAs, as they were expected to have Other revenues”
Mr. Ayine regretted that the AGF failed to address the irregularities, even after the AuGF raised the issue.
He said, “There is a significant risk that the balances included in the Financial Statements as Other Revenue are understated. The Accountant-General was requested to include all “Other Revenues” of the excluded MDAs, and to provide further disclosure of what constitutes Other Revenue. The responses received to our observations did not address the issue raised.”
Accountant-General submitted Financial statements 5 times with material errors and misstatements
Mr. Ayine said in the report, “I am required by Section 85 (5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), to submit my Report on the audit of the Accountant-General‟s Financial Statements to the National Assembly within 90 days of receipt of the Statements from the Accountant-General of the Federation.
”The Financial Statements of the Federal Government for the year ended 31st December, 2016 were first submitted to me by the Accountant-General of the Federation on 30th June, 2017. Following my preliminary observations, the Statements were significantly amended and re-submitted on 29th
“September, 2017. Further amendments to the Financial Statements led to another re-submission on 29th December, 2017 and 16th January, 2018 before the final version was eventually submitted on 20th March, 2018.
“Our findings resulted in different significant adjustments being made by the Accountant-General at each stage in response to observed material lapses. This led to a 5th version of the signed financial statements being presented to me on the 20th March 2018.”
Accounting Officers ignore audit queries
He said further, “Response to audit queries – The Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and their accounting officers are reverting to the situation in the past where they did not promptly respond to audit observations. I am concerned about this development, which is a major setback to our accountability process.
“Where accounting officers fail to respond to audit queries, the implication is that they have no explanation to offer. They should be compelled by the Public Accounts Committees to comply with the audit recommendations on such issues.
Poor accounting by OAGF
“For example, in the final version of the financial statements, the total revenue figure of N3,723,250,178,676.90 in the statement of financial performance was exactly the same as the total inflow from operating activities in the Cash Flow Statement, a situation more credible under the cash basis of accounting.
“This implies that the total revenue figures for 2016 did not take account of significant receivables, some of which are included in the statement of financial position as revenue in arrears. As a further example, the sum of N2,291,017,578,522.34 was disclosed as transfers to other government entities as expenditure within the statement of financial performance. The same figure is also disclosed as an outflow to other government entities within the statement of cash flows.
‘’In addition to the accrual accounting lapse, the disclosure also indicates that the entire sum transferred out has been treated as an expense, regardless of whether the recipient entities expended the funds on recurrent or capital items, or whether some of the funds were not expended. These findings undermine the integrity of the financial statements and indicate that the balances stated are unlikely to be fairly presented on an accrual basis.”