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Auditor General Queries 308 MDAs Over Extra-Budgetary Spending

The Auditor-General for the Federation, Anthony Ayine, has queried 308 Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) over N149.5 billion extra-budgetary spending in fiscal year 2016.

According to the 2016 Annual Report of the Auditor-General for the Federation, which was submitted to the National Assembly in June vide a letter wit reference number C/AR.2016/CONF/VOL.1/01, the Auditor General described the unauthorized expenditures as a symptom of poor budgeting and accounting reporting standards.

The report reflected that the National Centre for Women Development spent N3.82 billion outside its approved budget for the fiscal year while the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was reported to have spent N10.48 billion over what was provided for it in the year’s budget.

The Police Service Commission also had N283.3 million as extra-budgetary spending compared to Tertiary Education Trust Fund’s (TETFUND’s) N1.12 billion; and National Primary Health Care Development Agency’s N18.17 billion.

Others indicted in the report for spending beyond their approved budgetary provisions are, State House Operations-Vice President, N78.9 million; Ministry of Petroleum Resources, N182.7 million; Department of Petroleum Resources, N5.2 billion, Federal Civil Service Commission, N20.8 million; and Budget Office of the Federation, N96.5 million, among others.

The report stated further: “Our examination of the consolidated statement of financial performance and the accompanying Note 13 revealed that 308 MDAs incurred extra-budgetary overhead expenditure of N149,509,623,789.40 in 2016 as their actual overhead expenditure overshot their appropriated budget for overhead costs.

“We, however, note that the total overhead expenditures of N670,827,528,970.26 shown on the statement of financial performance is far lower than the total appropriation for overheads for 2016 at N1,014,145,686,504.48.

“The extra-budgetary expenditure of N149.509,623,789.40 by some MDAs on overheads is a symptom of poor budgeting and accounting”, the document added.

A further analysis of the report findings also showed that N12.08 billion was transferred in cash to outstation offices and that the expenditure was not subjected to normal auditing process.

The Accountant General of the Federation reported that despite various queries raised by his Office seeking clarifications on the affected extra-budgetary spending, most of the MDAs failed to respond to such audit enquiries.

He expressed concern about the ugly development which, he described as a major setback to the nation’s accountability process.

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