Reps summon Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi, Budget Office D-G

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For allegedly preventing budget audit…

By IHEANACHO NWOSU and CHUKS AKUNNA, Abuja

The House of Representatives has summoned the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) Governor, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and Director-General of Budget Office in the Presidency, Dr. Bright Okongwu, over allegation that they prevented the audit of the 2012 budget. The trio who are expected to appear today before the House Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for allegedly withholding over N4billion earmarked for the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, resulting to the latter not having enough resources to audit the outgoing year’s budget.

The Auditor-General, Mr Samuel Ukura, claimed at the weekend during a session with the PAC that the Ministry of Finance allegedly released a paltry N892.5million out of the N5.2billion provided for the budget audit. The revelation led the lawmakers to reach a consesus to invite Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi and Okongwu, who he alleged frustrated the release of the allocation to his office. Ukura also told the committee that there was a zero allocation to his office in the 2013 budget for the auditing of the Federation Account.

The Auditor-General, who was appointed on October 16, 2010, accused the Finance Ministry of frustrating the audit allocations to his office, lamenting that the situation was threatening to make the Audit Office redundant. Right now, he said that his office cannot audit certain ministries owing to lack of funds. Ukura said, “with the meagre allocation to our office, we cannot even audit some ministries”. For instance, he disclosed that his office managed to “audit only 44 out of 97 foreign missions, because of paucity of funds this year”. Incensed by the revelation, members of the committee headed by Hon. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (ACN-Lagos), lashed out at the Ministry of Finance, demanding financial autonomy for the Auditor-General’s Office.

According to a member of the committee, Hon. Pally Iriase (ACN-Edo State), “if you look at this budget (of Auditor-General), it shows how unserious we are about tackling corruption in this country”. He said, “this budget ought to signpost our seriousness in tackling the issue of corruption headlong, but the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office in their own strange wisdom have decided that the best thing to do is to frustrate the Office of the Auditor-General” Also, Hon. Karimi Sunday (ACN-Kogi) said, “there is a continuous attempt to frustrate and render the Office of the Accountant-General redundant.

They (Ministry of Finance and Budget Office) don’t want the office to do their work, but there is the need for this committee to do their work”. Chairman of the committee, Hon. Adeola, said the findings of his panel indicated that “the Auditor-General of the Federation is not even given the opportunity of fair hearing”. He claimed that the” Minister of Finance and the D-G, Budget Office sit together to draw budget for the Auditor-General without giving him the opportunity to defend it”. The committee, however deferred consideration of N1.6billion as the committee’s budget in 2013 as proposed by the ministry.

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26 Comments

  1. These sacred cows summoned by the house? Ha, I pray that this doesn’t turn out to be yet another mega political tea-party where naira bills blatanly excange hands.

  2. CHINEDU OBODOAGU on

    #5.2billion naira just 2 audit budget alone, this dishonourable members r crying cos they could not v their share of d audit money. Anyway, i expect another lecture from NOI n SLS 2 those illitrate rouges in d House.

  3. so nigeria spends up to 5.2billion just to audit budget, please can someone explain to me how they do this auditing business, are they going to build house or construct road in the same auditing, our dubious dishonorable house members must be crying for their own shear of the 5.2billion

  4. ARE THEY NOT BEING PAYED THEIR SALARIES TO DO WORK? MAY BE THEY WANT TO BUY PRIVATE JETS TO CARRY THEM TO AND FROM THE VARIOUS MINISTRIES WHILE AUDITING THE BUDGETS. THE PROBLEM OF NIGERIA IS THESE DISHONOURABLE MEMBER. IF THEY WANT NIGERIA TO MOVE THEY CAN, BUT NOW WE ALL KNOW THAT THEY DON’T WANT TO MAKE NIGERIA WORK. IT IS WELL.

  5. Viccy u can ask again,i guess notin gud is sensing n dis country anymor.imagin such amt of mony jus 4 audit?den wot ar thy goin 2 audit again?infct i smell sme level of tricks

  6. The National Assembly is working hand in hand with the executive defrauding Nigerians,the main problem with Nigeria is the National Assambly.The members are just decieving Nigerians.

  7. N5.2 bn for transport and other expenses after salary.God pls touch the heart of this evil men now.May be they should give us the breakdown of N892 million already spent.

  8. Absolutely outrageous! N5.2b for auditing only-God-knows-what. These men r heartless. God is watching. I only pray we dnt do worse if we eventuallw find ourselves there.

  9. That 5.8 billion could have provided employment for at least one hundred Nigerian graduate for five years. I am sure 100 million naira would have been enough for the auditor general to spend in a year. But those house of representative members want their shares

  10. If this country should move forward let their be transperency and good acount pls nigeria is warshing to see how there treath the issue

  11. What are they “auditing” with N4billion?
    This is unwelcoming. And it is just part of the money.
    I am soory for this country…..

  12. I wish I can bring back Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzogwu from death to show you thieves how to Audit the ministries with 5.4 billion naira OLE

  13. We need Okonjo 2nd to fix up broken Nigeria, #4b is for sharing with almighty formula. #1.2b is for the expenses. They wants to crucify Ngozi just because she refused to sign such monies that whats more than A country annual budget for just auditing.

    We are at the mercy of God.

  14. This group of ẹranko,jaguda,oloṣi have started again.How do they do the auditing work?4 billion naira is enough to establish two refineries.Hummm!! 9jaaaaaaa..

  15. When we criticize, be objective. We are to build strong institutions not persons if Nigeria must work. If 5.8b was approved for the audit office in 2012, not even Mr president has the right not to give it to them. If he does, it becomes abuse of office. Strenghten the approval offices. Make amends while the budget is still a proposal. And audit after. Is there a law which states that the office of audit shall not be audited? There ought to be checks and balances in all we do. Nigeria is not a one man affair. This is the Federal Republic of Nigeria for goodness sake.

  16. Godwin O. Isaac on

    Ekekwe needs to be reminded the auditor’s office is under the control of the executive arm of the government. In civilised democracy, the aud

  17. Godwin O. Isaac on

    Ekekwe needs to be reminded that the auditor’s office is under the control of the executive arm of the government. In a civilised democracy, the auditor general would have been booted out of the office.

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