The Senate has ordered the Federal Ministry of Works to restore to the national treasury N692 million that was allegedly spent on bogus contracts, according to the Auditor General for the Federation’s (AuGF) 2018 report.
The judgment was reached after the Red Chamber considered the findings of the Committee on Public Accounts, which discovered that a contract for N343 million was given without due process and without vehicles being supplied.
According to the article, another contract worth N139 million was issued for services and the acquisition of vehicle replacement parts, computer accessories, photocopy machine parts, and the design of the country’s roads and bridges.
It was also mentioned in the reports, N210 million intended for documentation purposes was divided into N130 million and N80 million and put into a staff account, in violation of financial regulations.
The Senate panel, chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), stated that it sent a series of invitations to the Ministry of Works to defend the allegations raised by the Auditor General for the Federation but received no response from affected officials, causing the queries to be continued.
The queries read,
Audit observed that the sum of N343 million was paid for the purchase of 36 project monitoring vehicles without following due process.
“Further examination revealed that the 36 vehicles were not received into the store as there was no document to show such delivery.
“Audit observed that advances in the sum of N139 million were granted on service and direct purchase of vehicles spare parts, computer accessories, photocopying machine parts for the design of Nigerian roads and bridges.
“There was no store record of those items to show that they were purchased.
“Audit observed that N210 million meant for documentary was split into N130 million and N80 million paid into a staff account contravening FR 713.
“Further examination revealed that the sum of N130 million was purportedly used for the capture of developmental projects, which included other ministries like Finance, Agriculture, Transport, Petroleum Resources, Mines and Steel, Trade and investment.
“There was no receipt or retirement particulars attached to the payment vouchers to justify the payments.
“The approval for the sum of N80 million was made to the Director of Finance and Account, which was above his approval limit.
“There was no evidence to show who the producer of the documentary was, or whether they were selected on a competitive basis.
“There was no evidence to show the work was actually done.
As a result, the Senate upheld the queries and directed the ministry, through its Permanent Secretary, to account for the amount and return it to the Consolidated Revenue fund (CRF).