Ayime Business ecological fund Finance News

N28.2b Ecological Fund was looted – AGF, Ayime [DETAILS]

N28.2b Ecological Fund was looted – AGF, Ayime [DETAILS]

The Auditor-Common of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayime, has revealed that ecological fund meant to battle disasters has been looted.

In line with Ayime, about N28.286billion was deducted from the fund in 2016 for actions not associated to improvement of pure assets.

A report from the workplace of the AGF additionally disclosed that about N74,888,718,334.59 was credited to the fund in 2016.

The report stated the primary tranche was N26, 286, 790, 023.51 being 2 per cent deduction from the Federation Account for ecological issues. The second remittance of N48,601,928,311.08 was acquired into the Ecological Fund because the required three.zero% deduction from the Federation Account for the Improvement of Pure Assets.

However the AGF stated the N28.286 billion was paid out as a mortgage to execute unrelated actions.

Additionally, the AGF indicted the nation’s embassies in Germany, Eire, The Netherlands and in Britain.

He stated embassy in Germany can’t account for N298.8million.

These discoveries have been contained within the AGF’s 2016 Audit Report, which has been introduced to the Nationwide Meeting for consideration.

The report stated: “The Ecological Fund was arrange for the amelioration of common ecological issues in any a part of Nigeria. Examination of data introduced for audit revealed that the sum of N26,286,790,023.51 was credited to the Ecological Fund because the required 2 per cent deduction from the Federation Account within the yr 2016.

“Examination of FAAC data revealed that a complete quantity of N48,601,928,311.08 was acquired into the Ecological Fund within the yr, because the required three.zero% deduction from the Federation Account for the Improvement of Pure Assets.

It was noticed that N28,239,060,570.89, representing about 58%, was paid out of the Fund as mortgage for numerous actions that aren’t associated to improvement of pure assets.

“We advocate that henceforth, the Federal Authorities deploys these particular funds just for the said aims of the Funds.

”We notice that the varied withdrawals from Funds by the Federal Authorities are said to be borrowings.

“We additional noticed that the preparations for the reimbursement of those funds or borrowings are unclear. For instance, the 2017 price range didn’t embrace any appropriations for the reimbursement of those borrowings.

“We, therefore, further recommend that arrangements are clarified immediately, for the repayment of any funds not disbursed for the prescribed purposes of these Funds.”

In its evaluation of the actions of the Division of Petroleum Assets(DPR), the AGF accused oil companies of not paying about $26,262,667.15 royalties.

“An in depth rationalization was requested for the excellent Receivables as a consequence of DPR as at December, 2016 and finally to the Federation Account.

“The Director DPR has also been requested to expedite efforts towards the recovery of all outstanding Royalties, and to forward the updated status to this Office for verification,” the report stated.

The AGF additionally indicted the nation’s embassies in Germany, Eire, The Netherlands and in the UK.

The report added: “Through the audit examination of accounts and data of Nigeria Embassy, Berlin, Germany, the next observations have been made:- (a) Vote books maintained for Personnel Value on the Embassy, revealed that the whole quantity acquired and verified on the US Greenback Account in 2015 was N463,435,150.69, which interprets to $2,637,097.66 (two million, 600 and thirty-seven thousand, ninety-seven dollars, sixty-six cents). The accrued expenditure recorded underneath Personnel Value, as on the final posting date of December 18, 2015, amounted to N164,541,521.04 thereby leaving a stability of N298,893,629.65 which was not accounted for. There was no disclosure within the Vote e-book, of how this fund was expended.

“The Everlasting Secretary was requested to account for the stability of N298,893,629.65 or refund the quantity to Treasury and ahead treasury receipt for verification.

“Audit examination of the US Greenback Account Financial institution Assertion for 2016 Personnel Value to the Nigeria Embassy, Berlin, Germany revealed funds totaling $1,710,324.35 equal to N335,357,629.10, showing on the required dates.

“Nevertheless, from the funds launched, it was noticed that:

The whole expenditure recorded was N242,264,170.58, therefore the Personnel value was imagined to have had a credit score stability of N93,zero93,458.50 as towards an over-expenditure of N69,349,489.08 recorded within the vote guide as on the time of audit in November 2016.
It was equally noticed that out of the 7 (seven) funds transferred, solely three (three) totaling N170,401,598.03 have been posted into the Vote guide.
The purported over expenditure of N69,349,489.08 would subsequently not be accepted as an correct stability of the Personnel value.
“The Everlasting Secretary ought to justify the over-expenditure of N69,349,489.08 or refund the quantity to chest and furnish proof for verification.

“Through the audit examination of the Financial institution Reconciliation Assertion introduced by the Nigeria Embassy, Berlin, Germany, the next observations have been made:

(i) Debits in Financial institution not in Money e-book totaling €25,618.82, which ought to have been expeditiously cleared by means of reconciliation, have been carried ahead over a number of months within the Financial institution Reconciliation Assertion.

“This motion has led to a state of affairs the place the administration understates the quantity within the

Banks as indicated under:

S/N Particulars Quantity (€)

1 January 2015 54,968.92

2 February 2015 146,477.96

three March 2015 186,919.93

four April 2015 221,098.32

5 Might 2015 226,591.89

6 June 2015 135,zero26.23

7 July 2015 230,862.93

eight August 2015 229,905.59

9 September 2015 360,zero96.30

10 October 2015 389,418.08

11 November 2015 396,380.05

12 December 2015 435,012.18

13 January 2016 420,724.51

14 February 2016 441,839.70

15 March 2016 452,205.76

Grand Complete €four,327,528.35

“As proven above, the administration understated the financial institution balances between January 2015 and March 2016 to the tune of €four,327,528.35. This exhibits a transparent indication of mismanagement of presidency funds. The cheque numbers point out that the cheques have been purportedly written by the Finance Attaché with out applicable authorisation and with out elevating cost vouchers for the expenditure. The identical units of cheques continued to function after it had been deducted from the Cashbook stability within the earlier months.

“This was opposite to the provisions of Monetary Regulation 807, which states that “Sub- Accounting Officers will be sure that all excellent gadgets within the Financial institution Reconciliation Assertion are cleared expeditiously.

“The Mission did not show that the cost didn’t emanate from it, in any other case financial institution would have been held accountable and worth would have been gotten. Subsequently, this was perceived to be fraud and wanted to be completely investigated.

“Some lodgments of funds made to the account have been often not mirrored within the cashbook, therefore making it troublesome to determine the entire quantity acquired by the Embassy as recorded within the cashbook by the Finance Attaché.

“The Financial institution Reconciliation statements weren’t signed by the Sub-Accounting officer answerable for the preparation of the Financial institution Reconciliation Assertion.

“The Everlasting Secretary was requested to ask the Ambassador, the Head of Chancery and the Finance Attaché to refund a complete sum of €four,327,528.35 to chest, with the receipts forwarded to my Workplace for verification. No response was acquired.

“Additionally, a excessive powered investigative staff ought to be constituted to conduct an in-depth investigation to determine the explanations for the continued understatement of the quantity that’s standing as balancing determine within the Financial institution Reconciliation Assertion for the interval underneath assessment. They need to be mandated to research the best way and method funds are deducted from the accounts of the Embassy with out due approval and due course of.

“The Finance Attaché must be correctly educated on the preparation of Financial institution Reconciliation Assertion as offered in Public Sector Accounting and Monetary Laws 806 and 807. The Everlasting Secretary ought to affirm motion on the above points.

“Throughout audit inspection of properties owned and maintained by the Nigeria Embassy Berlin, it was noticed that the Federal Authorities owned a property in Bonn with the next info:Vulkanstr 69, 53179 Bonn Situated in District of Mehlem, Plot 154, Compound and Constructing with 5446 Sq. Meters.

“Audit enquiry revealed that the property has not been in use, but the Embassy continues to incur big upkeep prices on it.

“The Everlasting Secretary was requested to think about in search of approval from Authorities to unload the property situated at Bonn and utilise the funds to buy one other property in Frankfurt, or convert the property to an funding underneath a Public, Personal Partnership association (PPP) to generate income. The Everlasting Secretary ought to present an replace on measures taken to successfully utilise the property.

“The issues raised were communicated to the Permanent Secretary through my Audit inspection Report Ref. No. SMEA/OAuGF/AIR/BERLIN/2016/Vol.1/1 dated 25th January 2017. No response was received from the Ministry.”

Relating to the nation’s embassy in The Netherlands, the AGF stated about N40,579million was lacking in transit from the Ministry of Overseas Affairs to the mission in The Hague.

It stated: “Through the audit inspection of the books of accounts and data maintained by the Nigeria Embassy at The Hague, Netherlands, the next observations have been made:-

(a) Funds for Overhead expenditure in 2015 totaling N40,579,035.00 couldn’t be traced to the Mission’s Overhead account. The Ministry of Overseas Affairs confirmed the discharge of this quantity to the Embassy as follows:

(i) N30,434,276.00 – April 2015 Over-head value with AIE No 226 – 21/four/2015.

(ii) N10,144,759.00 – Might 2015 Over-head value with AIE No 341 – 01/07/2015.

There’s an pressing want to research correctly, the whereabouts of the N40,579,035.00 claimed to have been remitted by the Ministry, however not acquired on the Embassy, at The Hague.

The Everlasting Secretary was requested to determine the true place of the N40,579,035.00 purportedly transferred, get well the funds to chest and ahead proof for verification. No response was acquired on this matter from the Ministry.

(b) The Nigerian Overseas Service Regulation 29 stipulates: “Every Nigerian Diplomatic or Consular post shall be stocked with reference and operational hand books which are designed to serve as works of reference for effectiveness of the missions”. A check for compliance with this regulation revealed that the Nigeria Embassy at The Hague was not complying.

“A bookshelf present in one of many workplaces was in a state of neglect and full of previous shares. There was no proof that it had been put to make use of in current occasions. The next observations have been additionally made:

(i) Books and magazines within the library weren’t correctly stocked.

(ii) The books have been neither listed nor catalogued;

(iii) There was no Register for the few out there books. There was gross lack of management and this might give room to pilferages;

(iv) The accounting data revealed that N233,993.00 was acquired between 2015 and November, 2016 for the acquisition of books and magazines. The quantity was evidently not utilised for the meant function.

“The Everlasting Secretary was requested to make sure that:

(i) The Mission desists from diverting funds meant for books and magazines;

(ii) The Mission updates its inventory of books and magazines.

(iii) All of the books are correctly catalogued and listed, in accordance with trendy library requirements.

(iv) A properly educated employees is appointed to oversee the library.

“The issues were communicated to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs through my Audit Inspection report Ref. No. SMEA/OAuGF/AIR/HAGUE/2016/VOL.1 dated 31st January, 2017. The Permanent Secretary should confirm that recommendations (i)-(iv) above have been implemented.”

The AGF additionally confirmed that as at 2016 when the audit was carried out, the Embassy of Nigeria, Dublin, had no checking account in Eire.

”On the Embassy of Nigeria, Dublin, Eire, the next observations have been made:- (a) The Mission didn’t keep any checking account in Eire in the course of the interval beneath evaluation because of overseas change laws and challenges related to foreign money conversion from US Dollars to Euros. Nevertheless, it operated 7 (seven) financial institution accounts with a business financial institution in London (UK). Paperwork relating to five (5) of the accounts have been introduced and examined whereas paperwork referring to the opposite 2 (two) accounts weren’t introduced for audit inspection.

“The Minister/Counselor (Consular), who controls the two (two) accounts, insisted that the accounts weren’t topic to audit, opposite to the provisions of Part 85(2) of the Structure of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Monetary Regulation 110.

“I’ve referred to as for the Everlasting Secretary’s response to the place of the Minister/Counselor. Accordingly, the Everlasting Secretary ought to present a standing report on this matter.

“The Vote Books weren’t nicely maintained in the course of the 2015 and 2016 monetary years. The final entries within the 2015 Vote books have been dated 20th October, 2015 – 29th October, 2015. No additional entries have been made within the Vote books until the top of the yr.

“Equally, the 2016 Vote books introduced for audit weren’t maintained as stipulated within the Monetary Laws. Solely entries in respect of Overhead prices AIE No. MFA/MS/OH/027/2016 and the expenditure arising therefrom, dated 22nd July 2016 have been made, however not in accordance with the columns of the Vote E-book. Apart these entries, there was no different entry within the Vote e-book, both earlier than or after 22nd July, 2016.

“The Everlasting Secretary was requested to elucidate this disregard for controls in authorities monetary administration, however no response was acquired on the time of concluding this Report. Accordingly, the Everlasting Secretary ought to present an replace on this matter.

“The sum of €113,307.29 (N24,632,019.57) collected by the Embassy between January 2013 – October, 2016 as income from Emergency Journey Certificates, Authentication of Paperwork, and so forth. was not remitted to J.P. Morgan and Citibank as on the time of audit in November, 2016.

“The quantities have been purportedly borrowed by the mission for cost of native employees and to satisfy different sundry expenditures. That is opposite to Monetary Regulation 223 which emphasizes accountability in filled with all revenues acquired. Therefore, the Everlasting Secretary was requested to remit these revenues to the suitable authorities account and ahead the remittance particulars for my verification. No response was acquired.

“The month-to-month wage invoice of the native employees of the Embassy which stands at €12,712.00 (Twelve thousand, seven hundred and twelve Euros (N2,763,478.26) fortnightly doesn’t mirror the financial realities of the current occasions. The place sure providers could possibly be obtained as the necessity arises, the Embassy went forward to interact them on everlasting foundation corresponding to authorized providers the place a lawyer was lately employed.

“ Accounting officers are anticipated to abide by the provisions of Monetary Regulation 415 which requires train of due financial system in all authorities expenditures. The Everlasting Secretary was suggested to disengage these extra employees and revert to hiring their providers solely when the necessity arises.

“As on the time of the audit go to in November, 2016, the Embassy owed its officers and different service suppliers the sum of €61,179.90 n(N13,299,978.26).

“The Everlasting Secretary was requested to confirm these money owed with a view to well timed settling them, as that is portraying the Embassy in dangerous mild, particularly with its service suppliers.

“The problems have been communicated to the Everlasting Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Affairs by way of my Audit Inspection Report dated third April, 2017. No response was acquired from the Ministry. Consequently, the Everlasting Secretary ought to present an up-date of motion taken on all of the issues raised.

Findings by the AGF indicated that the Nigerian Mission within the UK, one of many oldest, was not spared of the rot.

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