Mr. Anthony Ayine, the Auditor-General of the Federation, has reported that some federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) spent N26.606 billion in 2017 without payment vouchers or requisite approvals for such expenditures.
From the report, massive financial infractions were still prevalent in many MDAs, in spite of the anti-corruption stance of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Ayine said, “We reviewed the payments procedures and policies in MDAs against the standing Regulations and Policies of the Federal Government and found out that several payments totalling ¦ 26,604,515,374.55 was made with a total of 140 infractions identified in the payments made by the MDAs.
“The sum of N8,608,588,928.68 was expended in 25 infractions without presenting payment vouchers to justify the payments made in the transactions, which is contrary to the provisions of FR 601, which states
“All payment entries in the cash book/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.”
“Also, a total of 10 MDAs embarked on international travels and trainings without requisite approval from the appropriate authorities as specified in Extant Circulars, thereby, expending the sum of N2,660,420,450.05 on international travels despite strict restriction placed on it.
“Furthermore, the sum of N2,789,475,927.84 was expended without providing supporting documents to the payment vouchers in 22 infractions in the MDAs”
“MDAs that fell under the category of those that had outstanding payment vouchers/missing payment vouchers/accounting records not presented for audit were led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with N4. 385 billion;
“Federal Universities of Technology Akure and Owerri with N 237. 096 million and N188. 768 million, respectively. In another entry, FUT Owerri was said to have made a payment of N1.050 billion without any supporting document.
The Federal University of Lokoja topped the list of MDAs that misapplied funds with N707.625 million.
MDAs that made irregular payments were led by University of Ilorin with N 513.923 million; Federal University of Petroleum Resources with N350.412 million;
National Examination Council, N298.350 million.
The AuGF reported that the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) spent N2.193 billion on international travels, in the year under review, without approval.
Revenue Generating Agencies
From the report also, revenue generating agencies and other parastatals failed to remit over N20.675 billion into the treasury.
“It was observed from the 2017 audit that Revenue Generating Agencies and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies who deduct the statutory Withholding Taxes, Value Added Taxes, Stamp Duty, Capital Gains Tax and other statutory taxes did not carry out their duties appropriately to the benefit of the Federal Government, thereby leading to a significant reduction in revenue accruable to the Federal Government.
“Overall, audit found that the sum of N20,675,801,479.59 (Twenty billion, six hundred and seventy-five million, eight hundred and one thousand, four hundred and seventy nine naira, fifty nine kobo) in various Taxes (PAYE, WHT, VAT, etc.) in the year under review, was not remitted to the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Details are provided in the table below,” the report said.
“The Minister of Finance should ensure that all MDAs are fully on the GIFMIS platform and that no payment is made without passing through the platform. The use of manual payment vouchers should be abolished.
“I further recommend that appropriate sanctions are applied to all involved in instances of payments being made without the expected supporting documents and/or approvals,” he recommended.
Mr Ayine regretted that many MDAs continued to ignore the extant financial regulations and that many Chief Accounting Officers refused to respond to audit queries.