The Senate has demanded a refund of funds totalling N665.8bn which were allegedly diverted by the Office of Accountant General of the Federation from the Solid Mineral Development Fund and Stabilisation Fund to ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
The beneficiaries, according to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, included Independent National Electoral Commission, Ministry of Power, Nigerian Army, as well as former President Goodluck Jonathan and ex-Vice President Namadi Sambo, among others.
The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, which is chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, in its report on the audit queries by the auditor-general, said investigation showed that part of the fund was used as entitlement to Jonathan and Sambo, about N1.5bn paid on June 11, 2015.
It also found that INEC collected about N20bn from Development of Natural Resources Funds, apart from the N17.9bn collected from other sources.
Other beneficiaries of the diverted funds were the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, N3.6bn; N50bn to fund deficit in 2004; Ministry of Works, N2bn; Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, N13bn; Ministry of Sports, N500m; monetisation arrears due to Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s staff, N57.5bn; N70bn to accelerate capital budget in 2010; loan to facilitate the funding of capital budget in 2010, N80bn; loan to facilitate 2013 capital budget, Fourth Quarter, N80.7bn; and loan to Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, N6bn, in 2014.
The Senate, after consideration and adoption of its Committees on Public Accounts, ordered the Accountant General of the Federation to ensure refund within 60 days.
Written by: EaglesFM