Senate orders sanction against perpetrators of alleged N54b fraud

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The Senate has unravelled how some officials in the Office of Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) mismanaged $274.2 million (N54.1 billion) of external loans.

The revelation was contained in the report of its Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, which was approved by the Red Chamber before proceeding on a yearly recess.x

The upper legislative chamber, in its resolution, ordered the AGF, Ahmed Idris, to identify the culprits and sanction them for mismanagement of public funds in accordance with Rule 3115 of the Financial Regulations for gross misconduct.

The rule reads: “An accounting officer, who is queried for his failure to manage or spend public funds, effectively or who spends public money without due regard to economy contrary to FR 415 and fails to reply to the query, shall be removed from the schedule and be disciplined in accordance with the Public Service Rules.”

The query to the AGF from the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) was titled, “Inconsistent Exchange Loss Difference on External Loans.”x

It reads: “During the examination of Note 51 and Appendix to Note 52, it was observed that there was a total exchange loss difference of $278.2 million (N54.1 billion) reported by the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation in the document provided, but this could not be found in the DMO document.

“Also, the criteria for arriving at the exchange loss difference of $274.2 million (N54.1 billion) were not disclosed.”

The chamber, therefore, upheld the recommendation of the panel for the affected officials to be sanctioned.

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