…says it can only account for N721, 251, 798
…as Reps query accountant-general over unaccounted funds
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Debt Management Office (DMO) has denied the receipt of N2.2 trillion in its 2018 budgetary allocation.
The Office said the money was not released to them but managed by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
DMO’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Mrs. Feyi Olumide-Akinyemi gave the testimony at the ongoing investigative hearings into financial activities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs by the House of Representatives Public Accounts Commitee, PAC occasioned by audit query from the Office of Auditor General of the Federation.
The DMO said although the figure was appropriated to them, they were only accountable for the sum of N721, 251, 798 allocated to them.
Olumide-Akinyemi said it was the Accountant General that was responsible for the fund, adding that they had made a case that the money be separated.
She however added that the funds must have featured on their account due to a projection of cost the office made.
“It does not come to our books. It does not come to our account. It does not reflect anywhere in our books. We do not have access to the other one and that is why we always say it should be separated.
“During each process the budget office requires the DMO to give them a projection of interest payments, so these are the interest projections we made that the government will bear on our domestic and external debts and then a provision to take care of local contractors which is the sinking fund,” the DMO official who appeared with a colleague said.
Giving details of the N721, 251, 798 the Office recieved, Mrs Olumide-Akinyemi said that N435, 768, 793 was for personnel cost, N110, 883, 005 was for overhead cost while 174, 600, 000 was earmarked for capital expenditure.
She added that in the year under review, the Office received 89.74 percent of the personnel cost appropriation which she said was released through the office of the Accountant General.
She also said that N64, 000, 000, representing 58 percent of overhead cost was received while the remaining amount from both items were mopped up automatically at the end of the fiscal year.
Earlier, members of the committee had picked holes in DMO’s presentation.
Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Oluwole Oke was curious that the DMO could not account for the amount that was appropriated for it which he stated did not also appear in the Accountant General’s books.
“We should hold you liable to the actual sum released to you. If it is in the law that the DMO had a budget of N2.2 trillion. Now, where is the money? Who got it? Was it released? This is a law and the law says that 2.2 trillion had been given to DMO. Was the money given to the DMO? No. Who took the money? Accountant General? Why? If you are not the manager then it should not appear in your books but the books of the Accountant General of the Federation,” he said.
The Committee also wondered where the figure had originated from.
“Are you saying this figure did not come from your office to the National Assembly for approval? Somebody put this figure in your budget and you just saw it here at the National Assembly? Are you now saying that there is a budget provision in your agency that you cannot account for it?” The Committee queried
To this end, the Committee directed its Clerk to write to the Accountant General, demanding the records of payments, the releases and management of the fund, frowning at late rendition of DMO’s financial reports.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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