Senate Berates AGF Over Failure To Name Beneficiaries Of N57.6b Grants

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Nigerian Senate emblem

The Senate has berated Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, Idris Ahmed over his refusal to name beneficiaries of the N57.6 billion federal government’s grants.

The Federal government had in 2017 released N57.6 grants to state governments, privately owned companies, government owned companies, contributions to international organizations among others.

Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Edo South led Senate Committee on Public Accounts launched the attack over the grant as the committee is relying on the 2017 report of  Office of Auditor General for  the Federation.

The query read, “Examination of Note 14 (Grants and Contributions), as well as the Statement of Financial Performance revealed the following “The budgetary provision for Grants and Contribution was not disclosed in the notes to the accounts. This contravenes the provisions of IPSAS 24 (Presentation of Budget Information in Financial Statements).

“The sum of ₦57,624,929,461.05 (Fifty-seven billion, six hundred and twenty-four million, nine hundred and twenty-nine thousand, four hundred and sixty-one naira, five kobo) was granted by the Federal Government of Nigeria as grants and contribution which represent transfers to domestic and foreign governments, public and private owned companies, academic institutions and internationals for 2017. The breakdown and details of grants and contributions were not presented for audit.

“Non disclosure of details of Federal Government Grants and Contributions will cast doubt on the authenticity and actual usage of such grants and contributions.

“The incomplete disclosure of budgeted figures may result in extra-budgetary expenditures.

“The Accountant-General was requested to disclose beneficiaries of grants and contributions for the year 2017. In his response, the Accountant-General stated that  the list of beneficiaries of grants and contributions in the period under audit would  be made available on Monday 18th March, 2019 but no list or details was received  as at the time of this report.

“The Accountant-General is required to disclose the budget and beneficiaries of grants and contributions for the year 2017.”

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At the meeting with the Senate Committee to throw more light on the grants, the  representative of  Accountant-General of the Federation, Segun Fehintola however failed to present any document before the Senate  Committee showing the beneficiaries of the N57.6 billion two years after he had promised to make it available.

At the end of the day, the Accountant-General pledged to available details to the committee at the next sitting of the Committee which this week.

On the contrary, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Urhoghide was irked at the response of the Accountant General of the Federation, noting that the observation of the Auditor General was genuine and the query must be sustained.

He insisted that details of the beneficiaries of the grants must be presented to the Panel at the next sitting.

He said, ”we must sustain this query because the observation was genuine and you must bring the details of beneficiaries of the grants to Committee for vetting at the next public hearing.”