Accountant General Illegally Withdrew N665.8bn From Special Fund – Senate

Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr. Ahmed Idris

The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation illegally withdrew N665.8 billion from Development of Natural Resources Fund and Stabilization Funds and given as loans to various government agencies, the Senate has said.

The Red Chamber said the funds were withdrawn between 2004 and 2015 contrary to the established objectives of the fund.

The revelation is contained in the report of Senate Committee on Public Accounts on the Federation Account.

The committee had been investigating expenditures of federal government agencies from 2015-2018 based on an audit report by the Auditor-General for the Federation.

The panel presented the report of its six-month investigation on the Federation Account for the year 2015, which was approved by the Red Chamber before proceeding on annual recess.

The Auditor General’s report, in its query against depletion of Special Funds had said, “Amount totaling N455.8 billion were withdrawn from Development of Natural Resources Fund as loans to various beneficiaries between 2004 and 2015, contrary to the established objectives of the fund.

“The purpose of the Development of Natural Resources Fund is to provide financial resources to develop alternative mineral resources to oil and gas.

“Also, various amounts totaling N210.3 billion were withdrawn from Stabilization Fund as loans to various beneficiaries, between 2004 and 2015 contrary to the established objectives of the fund.

“The purpose of the Stabilization Fund is to provide for unforeseen contingencies and economic downturn and the beneficiaries are the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The stabilization fund belongs to three tiers of government.”

The breakdown of the beneficiaries of the funds showed that the entitlement of former President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President, Namadi Sambo, which is about N1.5 billion, were paid on June 11, 2015.

It also revealed that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) received about N20 billion from Development of Natural Resources Fund apart from the N17.9 billion it got from Brown Rice Levy, Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) Pool Levy and Rice Levy.

The Senate, in its resolution, directed the Accountant-General of the Federation to ensure refund of the monies within 60 days.

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