Teddy Oscar, Abuja
The Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, has hinted that his office has sent no fewer than 20 officials to audit the accounts of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Ukura, who disclosed this yesterday while appearing before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Accounts said his office had trained 20 officials in that regard.
“We’ve trained 20 professionals in the oil and gas sector auditing last year, and as I speak to you, they’re already on the field auditing the NNPC,” he disclosed.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, and other members inquired further from the auditor-general if he was sure of what he said in view of current allegations levelled against NNPC, and Ukura admitted.
Explaining his office’s expenditure for 2013, Ukura said that only 57 percent of capital budget was achieved as only N374 million out of the N627 million capital votes was released.
He said however that the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) had directed them to purchase cars only from Innoson Motors in line with the policy of encouraging local manufacturers.
He said that the office procured six vehicles out of the 15 it had planned to purchase, while N100 million out of the N180 million budget for vehicles was returned to the accountant-general’s office as Innoson could not supply the cars.
Ukura said that the recurrent expenditure achieved a 100 percent implementation, adding that all salaries were paid promptly, while hundreds of staff were trained for different purposes, among others with the sum of N60 million.
But members of the committee expressed a lot of concerns over the seeming conflicting figures contained in the document submitted to them by the auditor-general’s office.
They also queried the rationale behind refunding N100 million to the government when there were other pressing projects to be carried out.
The committee therefore directed Ukura to provide all relevant receipts for transactions made last year, saying as nobody audits that office, the committee is vested with the responsibility to do that.
The lawmakers also deferred the auditor-general’s 2014 Budget defence till next Tuesday in view of the inconsistencies in the documents submitted.
Meanwhile, the committee has summoned the director general of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Engr. Emeka Eze, to appear before it next Tuesday, and shed light on the vehicle purchase.