Budgeting Crime & Judiciary Matters Economy News Extra Latest News National Assembly Planning & Economic Development Revenue

Termites ‘Ate’ Our Payment Vouchers – NSITF Tells Lawmakers

The Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF)  told the Senate Committee on Public Accounts that some of its payment vouchers had been eaten up by termites, thereby failing to justify the spending of N17.16 billion in 2013 with the required documents.

The N17.158 billion, which was queried in the 2018 Audit Report of the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), was the total amount transferred by NSITF from its Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank) and First Bank accounts into various untraceable accounts belonging to individuals and companies from January to December 2013.

The query reads, inter alia :“The management of the NSITF as shown in statements of Account No. 1750011691 with Skye Bank Plc, for the period January 2013 to December 20, 2013, and Statements of Account No. 2001754610 with First Bank Plc for the period January 7, 2013 to February 28, 2013, transferred amounts totalling N 17,158,883,034.69 billion to some persons and companies from these accounts.

“However, payment vouchers relating to the transfers together with their supporting documents were not provided for audit. Consequently, the purpose(s) for the transfers could not be authenticated.

“These are in violation of financial rule 601 which states that, ‘All payment entries in the cashbook/accounts shall be vouched for on one of 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”, it added.

The agency’s management while appearing before the Senate committee on Friday could not offer satisfactory explanations for the undocumented multiple transfers.

While the officers at the helm of the agency’s affairs in 2013 told the committee that they left documents like vouchers behind, the current Managing Director of the NSITF, Mr. Michael Akabogu, said that no documents of such were available in their records

He said: “The container the said documents were kept by past management has not only been beaten by rains over the years but even possibly being eaten up by termites.

“As directed by this committee, I told the past management officers about the need for them to help us out in answering this query with necessary documents which have not been made available for us”, Akabogu added.

The agency’s managing director of NSITF from 2010 to 2016, Mallam Umar Abubakar, claimed that he was not aware of the query and had no explanations for it since the audit was not carried out during his tenure.

However, the NSITF’s CEO from May 2017 to July 2020, Adebayo Somefun, maintained that the officials in the Accounts department of the agency should be able to trace the documents, which the current general manager of finance, had claimed were locked up in an abandoned container within the headquarters of the agency in Abuja.

Miffed by the uncoordinated submissions of the past and current managements of the agency over the N17.158 billion unaccounted for expenditure, the committee’s chairman, Sen. Mathew Urhoghide, ordered the top officers  to reappear before the committee with all the requested evidential documents unfailingly on September 22, 2022 to make further clarifications on the money.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.